19th century netsuke carved out of kurumi (natural walnut shell) with two panels, the first depicting a Chinese lady seated leaning on a table with an open book, and with a gift box resting on a bench, the second panel with a Chinese scholar walking under pine accompanied by a boy attendant. Most probably the scenes come from book illustrations of some Chinese novel. Fabulous clever crisp carving, well captured mood of the scenes, precisely carved diaper ground. Fantastic deep warm brown patina, great representative piece for a collection of various materials in netsuke. Height 1 3/8 inches.