This is a superbly Hand-carved EDO Period Boxwood Netsuke depicting a Mother, holding a trumpet in her right hand, and carrying a child on her back.
The artist, on this netsuke, seems to have wanted to be unique by having the woman adopt a pose and portray a character that is normally associated with a male foreigner, such as her holding of a trumpet, which is uncharacteristic of a common Japanese woman .
It is an outstanding piece representative of Tametaka, whose work, according to George Lazarnick, is "striking for its originality of design, strong character and individual treatment; full of spirit and power".
Tametaka, according to George Lazarnick in his book 'Netsuke and Inro Artists and How to Read their Signatures, is the earliest known netsuke carver of Nagoya, the only one mentioned in the Soken Kisho. Founder of the Nagoya School, and of the uki-bori, or relief carving technique associated with that school '.
This is the only depiction of a common Japanese woman (as compared to a female Japanese legend character) made by Tametaka, according to Fuld's Netsuke and Ojime Index.
Signed Minamoto Tametaka, thought to be the same as Tametaka I, in an inlaid natural material tablet, as mentioned and illustrated by George Lazarnick, in his signature book, page 1077. This is the only inlaid work known to have been done by Tametaka, according to George Lazarnick.
This awesome miniature sculpture measures 1.28 inches (3.2cm) wide, and three inches tall (7.6cm), and its in excellent preserved condition (for a 200 year-old netsuke), as shown in the attached photos.
NOTE: Most Tametaka netsuke have sold for $12,000 or more by major auction houses, such as Christies and Bonhams. The netsuke shown in photo #9 were sold for $27,034, $11,950, $57,687, and $19,358, respectively.
This netsuke has an estimated value of $15,000 to $18,000, according to Neil Davey.
(This estimate was done at the International Netsuke Society Convention at Baltimore, MD, on 06 September 2015)