Very unusual 19th century lacquered wood netsuke of a Kurombo diver climbing onto an enormous branch of red coral. Rare subject - Ceylonese coral divers are usually shown holding a pot with a coral branch in front of them. Wonderful face, excellent depiction of his muscular limbs and curly hair and beard. The body of the diver is lacquered with silver lacquer producing deep gray color turning black, coral part is lacquered in Negoro style - red lacquer over black, so as it wears the black starts showing. Eyes and loincloth are gold lacquer. Beautiful wear, fantastic patina consistent with age. Signed with 3 characters on the bottom under lacquer, which makes it difficult to read - cannot see it on the photo of the bottom, but it is there. Possible readings of the signature are GYOKUJOSAI or OTEISAI. Wonderful netsuke, ex Scott Meredith collection, ex Jack Mang collection. Height 2 inches.