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49. An 18th century wood netsuke of a stylized grazing horse, his saddle blanket tied across his back, his long neck accentuated by the drape of his mane. Irregular himotoshi.

Height: 5.7 cm

 

50. A late 18th century Nagoya school wood netsuke depicting a happy Daikoku (Shinto God of Prosperity), his mallet tucked into his sash, wrestling to lift   a large bale, symbolic of great wealth. Lustrous patina with ukibori signature obscured by wear.

Height: 3.3 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 boxwood okimono of seated pilgrim with a recalcitrant oni in his bag. The sculptural composition of this piece is brilliantly executed with diaphanous folds of fabric. It is a very tactile work of art with properly placed himotoshi, however, the scale would be unlikely to actually function as a netsuke. Details of eyes and teeth in ivory. Signed Ryugyoku.

Length: 6.5 cm


           
           

55. An ivory mask of a caricature of the fierce Tengu with knitted brow and intense gaze. The skilled potential of this mythological half bird, half man and master of the martial arts is felt in the expression of his powerful focus. 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. A delightful boxwood netsuke of a farm girl leading an ox carrying bundles of firewood and provisions tied in a furoshiki. Countenance of both farm girl and ox lends character to this charming narrative of Japanese 19th century country life. Signed Minkoku. Circa 1850. Ex: Avery Brundage Collection, Asian Art Museum, SF.

Length: 3.8 cm

 

58. A very well defined boxwood netsuke cluster of five principle Noh masks, including Kijo, Magojiro, Fukai, Uzume, and Kintaro with his flaming axe. Each mask is a complete three dimensional rendering. Middle 1800’s. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 146, ills. N199. 

Height: 4.1 cm

 

           
           

59. A highly refined study that brings homage to the hard work and rustic life of Japan’s historical country women. Here a young woman rests upon her tethered bails of firewood to pause and enjoy the simple pleasure of a brief smoke from her pipe. She wears raffia sandals and loose fitting robes. Her long hair is knotted down her back and she tilts her chin upwards as if she has just released a puff of smoke. Trace of red lacquer inside the mouth. Signed in an oval cartouche Minkoku. Circa 1830. 

Height: 3.5 cm

 

60. A rather humorous depiction of a fish with a very toothy grin. The character imbued in this netsuke may find some context in a popular Soto Zen metaphor of the time. It was described that our Buddha-nature is already apparent if we were just to release the notions of our cursory mind and allow the realization to reveal itself. Much as the fish swims in water but is not even aware of the existence of the water. Wood with double inlaid eyes, awabi shell fins and ivory teeth. Circa 1890-1900.

Length: 8.2 cm

 

           
           

61. A deeply patinated 17th century ivory netsuke of a seated sennin upon a rocky outcropping with mugwort leaves across his left shoulder and staff in his right hand. Characteristic wear, however, details still present. Large worn irregular himotoshi that opens from the base to the midsection of the back. 

Height: 4.3 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. A well-patinated ivory manju with a deep fleshy cameo carved portrait of Kikujido, the chrysanthemum boy, holding petals in his left hand with his ink stone and brush to his right side. The opposing side carved with a poetic image of a gnarled scholar’s rock beneath a rising half-moon. Signed with engraved character Hojitsu. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 250, ills. IN70.

Diameter: 4.0 cm

 

64. An ivory mask of Ema-o, guide of souls, who according to Buddhist tradition is a fierce manifestation of Jizo, the Bodhisattva of Deliverance. Ema-o (sometimes referred to as king of hell) 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

 

 

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