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65. A highly translucent antique pressed horn netsuke of a Korumbo (Southsea Islander) crouching and clutching a tsubo with a branch of coral. This example is unusual for the well accentuated carved details from what originated as a molded piece. Meiji Period. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 133, ills. N176.

Height: 4.0 cm

 

66. A boxwood Hanasaka Jiji, the kindly farmer, seated on his resurrected tree stump with inlaid ivory buds that indicate that he has had the power to return this tree to life. A symbol of rejuvenation, this celebrated legendary subject was a favorite study of this artist. Signed Gyokkei. Late 19th century.

Length: 3.8 cm

 

           
           

67. An ivory netsuke in the form of a cluster of chadogu "tea tools." Falcon feather haboki, chashaku, mizusashi, chairé, futaoki, chasen… all attractively arranged in a compact composition to serve the functional needs of a tea ceremony devotee. Meiji Period, circa 1870.

Length: 4.0 cm

 

68. A boldly carved boxwood netsuke depicting a dynamic composition of Raiden, the Shinto storm god, and his young son Raitaro standing atop a bank of swirling clouds. Raiden pounds on his thunder drum while Raitaro tugs from behind at his father’s belt, begging for his turn to practice his best storm. Tokyo School (style of Hozan). Circa 1870.

Height: 4.2 cm


           
           

69. A translucent Hirado blue and white porcelain manju shaped as a zabuton (meditation cushion) with pleasing rounded contours. The top is detailed in an elegant underglaze cobalt design of trailing chrysanthemums and the reverse bears both studio and artist seals. Silver himotoshi. 19th century. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 186, ills. N266.

Length: 4.1 cm

 

70. ‘To Mushroom’ implies to proliferate, and that is certainly what is expressed in this marvelous cluster. The artist has studied the growth pattern of the wood to render each cap in harmony with its grain. Two minute snails explore the surface of these supple caps. Signed Rakushido.

Length: 5.3 cm


           
           

71. This netsuke of a frog on a well bucket is a classic study of the Yamada School with all the sensitive refinement collectors have come to appreciate. The frog finely modeled with nuance of body language and amphibious skin, the well bucket with signs of attrition and deep eroded grain pattern. Both inlaid eyes and nailed brads detailed in umimatsu. Signed Masanao.

Height: 3.8 cm

 

72. Boxwood netsuke of a cluster of mushrooms. Lustrous patina. Signed Masanao (Yamada Isé). Circa 1860.

Height: 4.1 cm


           
           

73. A boxwood netsuke in the form of 20 old stacked coins tied with raffia, the artist intentionally simulating the functional attrition of currency that’s traded many hands. A symbol of prosperity, this netsuke served as both talisman and toggle.

Height: 4.5 cm

 

74. A high relief shakudo takazogan married metalwork kagamibuta with finely worked engraving and gold detail depicting a portrait of the great actor Danjuro V, in his renowned role of ‘Shibaraku’, the portrayal of a legendary samurai warrior. Set within an ivory bowl with openwork kiku mon himotoshi. 19th century. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 141, ills. N191. 

Diameter: 4.4 cm


           
           

75. A delightful shishi with bold detail of tufted fur, broad paws and a playful grin, his body curled round a ball he clutches with his left paw. A sense of contained dynamism rests in his compact form. Natural himotoshi and eyes inlaid in dark horn. Signed Tomokazu. Ex: Bosshard Collection. 

Length: 3.5 cm

 

76. A folded lotus with two frogs, one within and one on top of the curled leaf. The owner of this talisman of good fortune carried a symbol of double luck and the protection of the lotus, symbol of the Buddha’s Dharma. Eyes inlaid in umimatsu. Signed Hidemasa on an ivory reserve. Circa 1800. 

Length: 5.0 cm

 

           
           

77. An 18th century Nagoya school boxwood netsuke of a sleeping Moso with freshly harvested bamboo shoot hung to his side. The gentle slumbered expression and skillfully rendered compact composition is very reminiscent of Tadatoshi’s sleeping Shojo. Nagoya School. Beautifully patinated with characteristic wear to the high points.

Height: 3.2 cm

 

78. Kanzan and Jittoku, the Zen eccentrics of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), are a subject that we recurrently encounter in Chinese and Japanese ink painting. Kanzan (lit. Cold Mountain) lived as a poet-recluse near Mt. T'ien-t'ai ("Heavenly Terrace") in Zhejiang. Jittoku (lit. Foundling) was so named because he was found by the Zen master Bukan and raised in the T'ien-t'ai temple, where he worked in the kitchen and gave food to his friend Kanzan.

This lively 18th Century ivory netsuke has a joyous sense of movement and expressions of unbridled enthusiasm. The two friends hold a scroll one would presume of Kanzan's poetry while he points as if to expound on the wisdom revealed therein, however, historical painting inscriptions state that this scroll is devoid of writing, perhaps a tribute to the greater wisdom of the Buddhist tenet "emptiness is form and form is emptiness." Kyoto School.

Height: 5.2 cm

 

           
           

79. An 18th century Nagoya School reclining horse with head lifted and tail curled round his rear haunches. The aji (patina of a well-loved favorite) of this piece is most appealing. Deep irregular himotoshi.

Length: 4.0 cm 

 

80. A boxwood netsuke of a scholar asleep on a woven pillow. Finely detailed textile patterns. Signed on a rectangular reserve Masamichi, Shodo of the Osaka School.

Length: 3.2 cm