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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 clustered composition of the Junishi, all twelve animals creatively configured to coexist in harmony and form a tactile and highly functional netsuke. A delight to the eye from every angle. Signed Toshitsugu. Tokyo School. Late 19th century.  

Length: 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 netsuke in the form of two architectural end tiles for a gabled roof. The prominent tile is carved with a swirling tomoe, symbol of the balance of the elemental forces of creation. The artist has deliberately carved the effects of erosion along the edges of both tiles.

Length: 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. An 18th century ivory netsuke in the form of a primordial egg from which a Dragon issues among rolling clouds clutching the pearl of wisdom. His mouth agape heralding his arrival as a supernatural being. Richly patinated with variations of honey to orange color that are characteristic of early ivory that was frequently handled. Ex: Carlo Monzino Collection.

Length: 4.2 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. Netsuke as talisman expressing primordial power in subject and source. The rare material of a whale’s tooth carved in a composition of dynamic movement with a spirited Dragon rising from the sea. 18th century.

Length: 7.8 cm



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