18th century netsuke of an emaciated sennin seated on a base wearing a tattered robe and a leaf cape and holding a staff with a bundle of his possessions tied to its top, and with a dog affectionately leaning onto the man. The subject is Sennin Izenshun (Chinese Wei Shan-Chun), who took good care of a black dog that had come to his hermitage, and one day the dog turned into a dragon and took the sennin to heaven. Rare subject, wonderful quality early carving - see his face with a wide grin and dog’s face mimicking man’s expression, visible ribs and vertebrae of his spinal cord, robe lines and hair textures. Excellent wear, beautiful patina turning honey color on the back, large himotoshi typical for the period. Height 1 5/8 inches.