Late 19th century wooden netsuke of a monkey wearing a short jacket and holding a peach as it protectively leans covering a woven basket containing more fruit. Wonderful quality carving with extraordinary face, limbs and hairwork, perfectly captured spirit of the scene. Eyes are double inlaid, beautiful differentiated staining and patina. Signed SOKO for Morita Soko on the bottom - for a lengthy discussion of this extraordinary artist from the So School see p. 1026 of NETSUKE & INRO ARTISTS AND HOW TO READ THEIR SIGNATURES by George Lazarnick. Probably an early carving by the artist dating from 1890s - the quality of carving is not as good as in his usual work, but the signature appears genuine. Length 1 3/4 inches.