19th Century (Tall) Japanese Boxwood Netsuke: Mythical Animal
This is a rather rare representation of a Soken Kisho inspired Mythical Animal, that was carved by an anonymous artisan during the 19th century in Japan. It has a Dragon shaped body with delineated scales, a sprouting unicorn, and a long curled and wavy tail. It is made of light wood, possibly cypress wood, and is covered with a reddish-brown lacquer. On its right side it is inscribed with archaic characters. The tail of the mythical animal serves as natural himotoshi. A similar model of the mythical animal that this carving represents may be found on page 89 of George Lazarnick's book: Netsuke and Inro Artists, and How to Read their Signatures.
Because of its size, 9cm (3.54 inches), it is considered a Tall netsuke. Most Japanese netsuke measure between 1.5 to 2 inches. It is in great preserved condition.