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81. A rare and unusual seal form ivory netsuke of a good natured dromedary standing foursquare above the recessed cartouche. Obviously a well appreciated personal accoutrement given the rich patination and characteristic wear to the high points. Ex: Bushell Collection. Ex: Dr. Hoerrmann Collection. Illustrated: Netsuke Familiar and Unfamiliar, pg. 176, ills. 472. Netsuke and Inro from European Collections, Barry Davies Oriental Art, pg. 113, ills. 128.

Height: 4.7 cm

 

82. A charming bizen yaki netsuke of a smiling shojo, the sea sprite and Shinto god of saké and happy felicitations. Bizen yaki is a high-fired stoneware that requires two weeks of continual firing for temperatures to rise, fire and then recede sufficient to the creation of this remarkable pottery. The characteristic iron glaze was developed with the intention to simulate the appearance of bronze, at a time when metals were too precious for the manufacture of arms and armor to be spared for the creation of functional works of art. Signed with stamped seal reading Sekisen. Late 19th century. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 143, ills. N193.

Height: 4.7 cm

 

           
           

83. A joy ride for Gama Sennin. A most unusual interpretation of this age old legend where Sennin and frog reveal the playful side of their companionship. Remarkably detailed, yet compact and functional. Signed Chokusai. “A fine artist whose work is rarely encountered,” Davey. Late 19th century. 

Length: 3.5 cm

 

84. A Kyogen theater folk mask of the early 1800’s depicting an old man with a broad mouthed grin. Possibly a depiction of a Taoist Immortal whose long whiskers, symbolic of his wisdom, have been gathered and tied to form the himotoshi. Well patinated. Signed Tomin. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 143, ills. N194.

Height: 4.4 cm


           
           

85. Two tipsy frogs attempt to tip the contents of a sake gourd into their drinking bowl. A most unusual netsuke made of the tagua nut (vegetable ivory), skillfully carved to render amphibious skin and details within a composition that required accommodating the organic constraints of the material. Circa 1880.

Length: 5.0 cm

 

86. A contemporary netsuke by Kangyoku Rishisai depicting a seated frog with well-rendered details and double inlaid amber eyes. Signed Kangyoku.

Length: 4.2 cm


           
           

87. A kagamibuta with fine married metalwork of gilded shakudo takazogan and inlaid hirazogan depicting a portrait of the great actor Danjuro V, in his renowned portrayal of ‘Shibaraku’, the role of a legendary samurai warrior. Set within an ivory bowl. 19th century.

Diameter: 4.5 cm

 

88. An unique Hida School dual function netsuke of seal form with a marvelous tortoise clambering over ryushi fungus growing amidst a scholar’s rock. Symbols of wisdom, longevity and knowledge, this very personable netsuke artifact likely commissioned of the carver by his patron. Finely detailed with particular attention to the carapace. Lustrous wood patina. Signed Ryosai.

Height: 4.2 cm


           
           

89. A marvelous boxwood folk art ‘mingei’ netsuke of a cheerful Okamé on one side and the reverse depicting Hyottoku, the stirrer of the elixir of immortality, symbols of mirth and good health, respectively. A clever natural himotoshi through the nostrils of Hyottoku. Late 18th century.

Height: 5.0 cm

 

90. A boxwood wolf and skull, Buddhist symbols of impermanence. The wolf is seated with his left forepaw resting on the top of a human skull. His head turned to the left and looking behind, he appears to be laughing. Signed Issan. Circa 1850.

Length: 4.0 cm


           
           

91. An ivory netsuke of a young Bijin naked to the waist while kneeling before a basin washing her hair. The sensitive detail of this netsuke is within a composition that is both compact and structurally sound. The artist has used the material to his advantage to convey the variant textures of skin and fabric, hair and water. Signed Seiyu. Late 19th century.

Length: 4.1 cm

 

92. An ivory netsuke of a cluster of clams by the great master of Sukashibori, Adachi Masanobu, a samurai of the Owari Clan. The interior carvings are of landscapes associated with traditional pilgrimages to famous temples. Signed Fuji Masanobu. Circa 1860.   

Length: 4.2 cm

 

           
           

93. An unusual netsuke of a long-necked boxwood gourd upon which rests an ivory ‘Kaeru’ frog. The double gourd is a symbol of abundance throughout the Far East, and the frog has long been a symbol of good luck, as it is the frogs that portend the coming of the rain in this historically agrarian society. This composition is elegant in its simplicity, yet engaging from every angle. A tactile and highly functional work of art. Irregular himotoshi. Signed Masatoshi. Circa 1850.

Height: 5.9 cm

 

94. A most engaging and well detailed ivory netsuke of Shojo (saké god) and minogamé (sacred tortoise) engaged in a playful tug of war over an upturned saké bowl. They have consumed the contents of this bowl, the effects having obviously initiated this lively drinking game. The composition finely detailed, yet maintaining functional integrity. Signed Shomin. Circa 1860.

Length: 3.6 cm

 

           
           

 95. In appreciation for the bounty of the garden, this lustrous wood netsuke is a cluster of Japanese culinary favorites. Beautifully carved and arranged in a composition to be enjoyed at every turn. A talisman of plenty. Signed Yasumasa. 19th century.

Length: 4.2 cm

 

96. A boxwood netsuke of a ferry boat carrying travelers both common and profound. Shoki rests in the center being fanned from behind by Kiku Jido, the oarsman is an oni tamed in service. On the stern there is a finely woven basket of molluscs and the river waves lap across the hull. Signed Ikkosai.

Length: 5.8 cm