18th century netsuke of a recumbent buffalo with a baby goat by its side, the head of the kid resting on the body of the larger beast. Uncommon subject of pairing of Zodiac animals, finely carved, their hooves bent beneath their bodies, the buffalo wearing a halter with a length of rope lying across its back, its eyes inlaid with dark horn. Beautiful wear consistent with age, yellowing on the bottom where netsuke was touching the silk of kimono and picked up oil from the body of the owner. Differently sized deep himotoshi in accordance with the habit of the time, wonderful rendition of animals’ fur, old age lines. The bottom is not flat, but has curvature adding realistic feel to the carving, and being one of the identifying features of Tomotada’s carvings. Signed TOMOTADA in oval reserve on the bottom - I believe it to be the work of the master himself. Excellent sculpture. Length 2 inches.