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49. A late 18th Century wood netsuke of a determined octopus bursting out of a cracked tsubo, his head, beak and two tentacles already freed. A large awabi has adhered itself to the side of the jar, as well as various other molluscs. Signed Yoshimasa, Iwami School. Ex: Jordon Collection. Ex: Hahn Collection. Illustrated: Netsuke from the Teddy Hahn Collection, Barry Davies Oriental Art, pg. 43, ills. 51. 

Length: 3.5 cm


50. An ivory seal form netsuke of a Dutchman with a handheld gong heralding a very animated dromedary. Such fantastic beasts were brought to Deshima Island by the Dutch as a startling amazement to the historical Japanese populace. Late 18th century. Ex: Bushell Collection. Ex: Dr. Hoerrmann Collection. Illustrated: Netsuke, Familiar and Unfamiliar, pg. 200, ills. 594.  Netsuke and Inro from European Collections, Barry Davies Oriental Art, pg. 113, ills. 127. 

Height: 4.1 cm


51. An antique Japanese carved boxwood netsuke of the rat catcher. This classic portrayal is an amusing study with an expression of total outrage as the catcher realizes that he has been duped by his clever adversary, who mocks his attempts. Signed Masayoshi.

Length: 4.2 cm


52. A narwhal ivory netsuke of a shishi seated on a platform base in the style of old seals with his left paw raised on a ball. The composition is carved to incorporate the natural rind of this rare material along the spine and across the curled mane. Signed Kohosai. Mid-19th Century.

Height: 3.5 cm


53. A boxwood netsuke mask of Okamé as Oto-Gozen, the young maiden Okamé, popular as a Kyogen mask, unlike the highly distorted masks of folk plays.  Taisho period, circa 1920.

Height: 4.1 cm


54. A stag antler ryusa form manju of a skull and monk’s hossu on an insect eaten lotus leaf, Buddhist symbol of impermanence. Circa 1860.

Diameter: 4.2 cm.


55. An ivory mask of a humorously fierce Tengu with knitted brow and intense gaze. The menacing potential of this master of the martial arts is felt in his focus of intent. Patinated ivory. Signed Mitsumasa. Late 19th century.

Height: 6.8 cm


56. A Demé Uman netsuke mask representing Okina as it would have been seen in its ceremonial origins of village rites before it was adopted into the pantheon of the Noh Theater. Also engraved ‘Tenka-ichi’ (meaning ‘unique in this world’). Circa 1780.

Height: 4.8 cm



57. An early 1700’s triangular form netsuke of a Taoist Immortal with long beard and walking staff seated within the enclave of a natural rock formation. Well-worn irregular himotoshi.

Length: 3.7 cm


58. A gold lacquer manju with a dramatic rendering of a fierce tiger, head turned and teeth bared. Executed in takamakié with fine hairwork and visible eye in solid gold with shakudo pupil. 

Diameter: 4.0 cm



59. A large scale ivory netsuke of a cluster of five horses nestled together, at least two of which are obviously stallions, which leads one to wonder if the center horse is perhaps a mare, who by her expression appears to be enjoying all this attention. The artist has rendered each beast with attentive detail to spine and hoof, mane and brow, even the grain of the ivory appears to be creatively utilized in the composition. Signed Tomonobu. The signature placque has been strategically placed to serve as a natural himotoshi. Circa 1850-60.

Length: 5.3 cm


60. An ivory netsuke depicting an Apsara – Buddhist Angel, of kindly countenance, in flight as a heavenly musician with drum and strikers. She floats effortlessly on a ground of celestial clouds with sacred scarves and phoenix headdress. Late Meiji period. Ex: Schmidt Collection, Lakeworth, FL.

Length: 5.2 cm



61. An unusual boxwood netsuke of a carpenter seated with his left leg folded up on a rough hewn pillar cutting notches with a hammer and chisel, his discarded left raffia sandal by his right foot. A genre subject rarely encountered in this art form. Old collection number on the base. Himotoshi placed as if old knots in the wood had left the openings. Circa 1890.

Length: 5.7 cm


62. A realistic boxwood netsuke of a chestnut that appears to have been nibbled by insects. Looking closer we see that revealed beyond its opening is a cavern with mountainous landscape, of the Taoist paradise of the Immortals. Signed Bokuzan. Circa 1870.

Length: 3.9 cm



63. Red Hot Chili Peppers - An unusual subject executed in ittobori (flat plane carving) demonstrating the integrity of each chisel stroke. Finished in the negoro lacquer technique and intentionally rubbed to reveal three layers of color in umber, black and red lacquer. Circa 1840. Ex: Schmidt Collection, Lakeworth, FL, #533.

Length: 6.8 cm


64. An ivory mask of Ema-o, Lord of Hell, who according to Buddhist tradition is a fierce manifestation of Jizo, the Bodhisattva of Deliverance. Ema-o terrifies as a skillful means to lead wayward souls to deliverance, encouraging them to escape the round of birth and death. His fierce countenance burns away the impurities attached to the human heart. Signed Yamaji Mitsuyuki. Circa 1880. 

Height: 6.9 cm