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97. An 18th century boxwood netsuke of a sarumawashi with his companion saru clambering over his shoulders. This piece is richly patinated with charming engaging countenance and characteristic wear to the high points. Definitively attributed to the 18th century artist, Insai.

Height: 8.1 cm


98. An antique Japanese boxwood netsuke depicting a rare narrative subject. The great Han hero Chorio (Chang Liang) is kneeling in an act of humility beside a bridge holding the lost shoe of Kose Kiko (Hwan Shi Kung, the Yellowstone Elder) who is crossing on horseback. The great mystic Kose Kiko later agrees to teach Chorio the secrets of his powers. Circa 1840. Signed Shumin.

Height: 4.8 cm



99. A standing figure of the Oni No Nembutsu holding his ledger in his left clawed hand and the striker for his gong in his right. His fierce broad face is surrounded by tufted whiskers and crowned by a pair of knob horns. Head, hands, feet and under kimono in boxwood, robes of sakura. Signed Sosui.

Height: 5.4 cm


100. A very idiosyncratic wood netsuke of a reclining tiger with a capacious Cheshire grin. His big eyes are most captivating with detail of dark pupils rimmed with metal. The portrayal of tigers relied as much on imagination as it did paintings and descriptions in Edo period Japan. The originality of this fantastic creature is attributed to Hidari Issan. Circa 1800. Ex: Bushell Collection. 

Length: 5.0 cm


101. A rather boldly carved composition of a singular pomegranate ‘Zakuro’ on a gnarled branch, the ripe fruit split from the abundance of its multitude of seeds, a symbol of plentitude. The surface of the fruit is stippled in the raised technique of ukibori. Natural himotoshi. 19th century. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 181, ills. N257.

Height: 6.1 cm


102. An unusual boxwood netsuke study of a cluster of three Hozuki (winter cherries) on a gnarled branch. Sometimes known in the west as Chinese lanterns, his rather lyrical composition is highlighted with tactile textural detail. Natural himotoshi. Tamba School, early 1800’s. Ex: Cecil Crookes Collection. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 181, ills. N256.

Length: 4.9 cm


103. A well patinated boxwood netsuke mask of Okina, the archetypal old man mask, symbol of wisdom that is donned at the ceremonial opening of the traditional Noh Theater. Gentle countenance with ivory inlaid detail. Signed Masatomo. Early 1800’s. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 145, ills. N197.

Height: 4.1 cm


104. An ivory folk mask of an impetuous screaming deity of the O-Tenjin type with a broad mouth grin that exposes tongue and teeth. His brow knit with veins exposed, he has gone mad, crossed eyed with the dynamism of the character he projects. Fitted with a cross bar intended to function as a humorous, engaging netsuke. Signed Yamaji Mitsuyuki. Circa 1880. 

Height: 8.6 cm


105. A tactile highly functional netsuke of a young bamboo shoot. The veining of the overlapping young leaves and the nodules of the budding root formation revealing the contained strength of this prodigious and highly emblematic plant. Signed on an inlaid mother of pearl placque, Naokazu.

Height: 3.7 cm


106. A boxwood netsuke of a very irritated Daruma enacting a parody of the frustrated rat catcher. The fierce face with bulging eyes and roiled expression says it all, as he frantically attempts to lash the intruder with his hossu. Boxwood with a lacquer finish and eyes inlaid in silver metal. Early to mid 19th Century.

Length: 4.1 cm


107. A cluster of five mushrooms, their caps overlapping and stems joined to form a natural himotoshi. The underside of each cap has been finely incised to highlight the realism of what might otherwise appear to be a highly stylized netsuke. Well patinated. Early 1800’s. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 179, ills. N253.

Length: 3.6 cm


108. An 18th century boxwood netsuke of the legend of Kintaro, the boy Hercules, wrestling the giant koi. Here he straddles his adversary clutching his gills to subdue him. Well patinated with eyes inlaid in umimatsu. Ex: Schmidt Collection, Lakeworth, FL, #117.

Length: 4.5 cm



109. A rare 18th century wood netsuke of an octopus in a mortar. The octopus is the physician of the sea, hence the association with the mortar for mixing medicines. This marvelous composition is both compact and lively, functional and engaging. Beautifully patinated from centuries of fond appreciation. Eyes inlaid in umimatsu. A very similar piece obviously carved by the same artist is in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Length: 4.5 cm


110. An antique boxwood netsuke brilliantly animated and deeply carved of a Kyogen comic mask. The pale boxwood and strong features show animation with similarities to the work of Sansho. Signed Deme Tatsutaka saku (made). Circa 1870’s.

Height: 4.8 cm



111. This delightfully charismatic Gama Sennin has a lively stance with one foot toes turned up. His amber eyed companion rides straddled across his shoulders and is supported by Sennin’s left hand. His well-defined mugwort cape is worn across both his shoulders and wrapped round his waist. He aids his gait with a gnarled staff, his loose robes asunder and round belly exposed. Signed Okakoto.

Height: 6.8 cm


112. Compact, tactile and charged with life is this classic netsuke study of the coiled rat. Natural himotoshi formed between the tail and left hip. Eyes inlaid in umimatsu. Signed Yasufuku. Circa 1870.

Diameter: 3.1 cm