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17. A sakura (cherry wood) manju netsuke depicting implements of Chanoyu, the traditional tea ceremony. The utensils shown are the sumi tori – charcoal basket, the haboki – feather brush for ashes, and the hibachi – iron tongs for tending fire, all carved in inlaid mother of pearl. The overall ground of the manju has been carved in a continuous pattern of florets within six sided tortoise shell kikko mon. Mother of pearl lined himotoshi. Signed in the interior Rensha. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 160, ills. N221.

Diameter: 3.8 cm

 

18. A very expressive Kagamibuta depicting a delightfully animated Fukurokuju who is transfixed in amusement with the antics of a samurai hand puppet wielding a silver-bladed naginata. Executed in the sophisticated married metalwork techniques of shishiaibori, iroē-takazōgan, and kin-hirazogan. Well-patinated ivory bowl. Circa 1840.

Diameter: 4.4 cm

 

           
           

19. A humorous netsuke study of the rolling Daruma – eight times down nine time up, symbol of perseverance, as this great patriarch of Zen Buddhism remained seated in meditation for a period of nine years. Carved from the very difficult material of a kurumi (walnut shell). Signed in an oval reserve Issan. Early 19th century.

Height: 3.0 cm

 

20. Boxwood netsuke of a snail on a water bucket. Details of ebony inlaid studs. Signed Masanao. Early 19th century. Ex: Hahn Collection. Illustrated: Netsuke from the Teddy Hahn Collection, pg. 79, ills. 107.

Length: 3.7 cm

 

           
           

21. A most idiosyncratic 18th century netsuke of ‘Tengu no Tamago’ struggling to free himself from his egg, to be attributed to the artist Garaku. Characteristic of this artist’s delightful interpretation is this composition with one leg freed, well defined cracks, curved beak with open nostrils and metal inlaid eyes.

Height: 4.0 cm

 

22. An antique Japanese ivory netsuke in the ryusa manju form of a cluster of nine principle Noh theater masks. Each mask has a well animated expression. Signed Rakuosai. Circa 1820.

Length: 3.9 cm


           
           

23. Boxwood netsuke of an awabi shell. A realistic rendering, the flesh of the mollusc providing a highly tactile contrast to the definition of the hard shell. Signed Shigémasa, Yamada/Nagoya School.

Length: 4.4 cm

 

24. An antique Japanese ivory mask study of the legendary character, Hiottoko, who faithfully stirs the elixir of immortality at the bequest of the Emperor. His classic portrayal is always with his lips pursed in the effort of his enduring endeavor. Here the artist has added an element of humor to his character with pursed lips that actually move and one eye squinting. 19th century. Ex: Steinburg Collection, NY. 

Height: 6.1 cm


           
           

25. A most unusual seated Kappa with a remarkably human face, yet the characteristic bowl of life fluid at the crown of his concave skull. He appears to be pointing at his empty alms bowl, perhaps as request for a cucumber to earn a pilgrim’s rite of passage. Well patinated netsuke with irregular himotoshi. Signed Jugyoku.

Length: 3.7 cm

 

26. An ivory manju with hiramakie gold lacquer decoration of fish among reeds. Irregular himotoshi. Signed Houn with kakihan. Ex. Lazarnik Collection, lacquer signature illustrated pg. 495.

Diameter: 4.6 cm


           
           

27. An unusual and amusing study of a mammoth frog, by scale, to his Lilliputian Gama Sennin, lounging in repose upon his back. Both are very animated characters who are obviously at ease in each other’s company. Well patinated boxwood with eyes inlaid in ivory and umimatsu. Circa 1810. 

Height: 3.3 cm

 

28. An 18th century grazing horse, boldly carved with well-defined sculptural contours and a rather elegant composition of flowing lines. Unusual for this classic subject is the drape of the saddle blanket, perhaps a nobleman’s steed having respite from a vigorous campaign. Beautifully patinated with characteristic wear to the high points. Brass inlaid eyes. Tsu School. 

Height: 4.8 cm

 

           
           

29. A most idiosyncratic ivory netsuke of Tengu no Tamago, the Tengu hatchling emerging from the cracks of his egg. This nescient mythological being is brimming with character, yet contained as a tactile and highly functional work of art. Attributed to Issai. Circa 1780.

Height: 3.9 cm

 

30. An ivory tall standing figure of Shoki the Demon Queller. The artist has ingeniously utilized the constraints of this triangular section of ivory to his creative advantage where Shoki holds a drawn sword the ready and his highly expressive face emerges from his broad rimmed hat and stylized beard. Richly patinated with well-worn himotoshi. Mid 1700’s.

Height: 9.9 cm

 

           
           

31. An unusual netsuke of a highly animated Bakemono kneeling wearing a kimono. He has a long and twisting nose, broad mouth and languid eyes and appears to be singing as he holds a pair of drum pummels. Signed Itsumin.

Height: 5.3 cm

 

32. A dynamic 18th century stag antler mask study of a horned Hannya with massive leering grin and flared nostrils. This netsuke has been rendered entirely from a bay antler section with all of the internal pith removed.

Height: 6.4 cm