1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


113. A late 18th century guribori lacquer netsuke in the form of a hyotan that served the dual function as a container for powdered ink to accompany a sagemono of yataté. This is an exemplary work of the guri lacquer technique of alternating layers of black and red lacquer, here deeply carved and polished in stylized cloud patterns. Fitted with silver mounts to serve as himotoshi and stopper. Ex: Atchley Collection. Illustrated: The Virginia Atchley Collection of Japanese Miniature Arts, pg. 173, ills. N242.

Height: 5.7 cm


114. An antique tagua nut (vegetable ivory) netsuke of a happy farmer, the skin of the nut forming his winter head wrap. Signed Shogyoku. Circa 1870.

Height: 4.6 cm 



115. Kaeru, kaeru, kaeru:
A symphony of frogs, I can hear them now. Seimin, at his idiosyncratic best, created this cluster of eleven ‘good luck’ frogs on a pair of raffia sandals with lotus leaf and ceremonial drum. Is it a wonder that Seimin’s nickname was ‘Kaeru’? Meinertzhagen writes, “Seimin was an artist in the true sense, combining originality, even eccentricity in his designs and techniques, with fine craftsmanship. His work is always inspired with artistic feeling.” Marine ivory with lustrous patination. Mid-19th century. Ex: Hahn Collection. Illustrated: Netsuke from the Teddy Hahn Collection, Barry Davies Oriental Art, pg. 83, ills. 111. For similar, but smaller examples: Davey, pg. 262, ills. 812; The Baur Collection, pg. 311, ills. C947. 

Length: 5.0 cm


116. A powerful ball of double abundance; two rolling rats whose plump, supple bodies fill the hand and delight the eye from every angle. Skillfully carved with extraordinary realism, the natural himotoshi in obvious placement for functional efficiency. A remarkable netsuke whose largess is with fixed intention, to be a boon of prosperity for the wearer. Boxwood with umimatsu eyes. Signed Keimin. 

Length: 5.5 cm


117. The Junishi – 12 animals of the zodiac. The artist has adeptly arranged each beast comfortably in each other’s company to create a compact composition that is captivating from all directions. Signed Chokyusai.

Length: 4.9 cm


118. An extraordinary antique Japanese carved ivory study of the human skull, remarkably realistic in its every detail. The artist has carved his study to be in two sections, so that the cranium of the skull may be removed to reveal an equally detailed interior where he has also placed his carefully engraved signature. Signed Kyokumon. Circa 1880. 

Length: 5.4 cm


119. This remarkable netsuke is carved from the hard shell of a kurumi (walnut) with 37 distinctive Noh and Kyogen theatrical masks. Clustered to appear random, but each one skillfully arranged in this compact composition. Signed Seimin. Circa 1830-40. Ex: Bushell Collection, Illustrated: Netsuke, Familiar and Unfamiliar, pg. 147, ills. 319.

Height: 3.8 cm


120. A most unusual antique ivory netsuke of two lanky frogs in juxtaposition upon a lotus pad, in parody of the Yin Yang symbol of balance and harmony. Attractively worn and patinated with a natural form himotoshi in the stem of the lotus pad. Eyes inlaid in brass. Circa 1840. Illustrated: Netsuke Through Three Centuries, Barry Davies Oriental Art, pg. 131, ills. 151.

Diameter: 4.0 cm


121. An antique Japanese boxwood netsuke of a frog on a lotus root. The composition is appealing for both its functional integrity and its tactile, well-defined detail. This subject alludes to the Buddhist practice of metta, where one wishes to know happiness and the root of happiness for oneself and others. The lotus, a symbol of Buddhist wisdom and the frog, a harbinger of good fortune. Eyes inlaid in amber and seeds in umimatsu. Early to mid-19th century.

Length: 5.0 cm




123. A portrait netsuke of Kanzan, the poet recluse of Mount T’ien-t’ai, depicted with benevolent expression holding a scroll to represent his writings. Some historical accounts of this legendary figure imply that he may have been a savant with open heart whose simple offerings expounded profound truth. Signed Sako. Late 18th century.

Height: 4.5 cm


124. An absolutely mad spherical work of art in ivory. This sphere is deeply carved with a variety of frogs perpetually emerging from all directions of its surface. Created to symbolize an extraordinary abundance of good luck. Circa 1900-20.

Height: 7.0 cm, with stand



125. 18th century wood netsuke of a frog on a lotus seed pod. The frog symbolizes rebirth, the spring, rejuvenation. The lotus is the symbol of Buddhist teachings, and the seed pod is associated with abundance and new beginnings. Inscribed: ‘Carved at 79 years old.’ Attributed to Minko I. Ex: Hahn Collection. Illustrated: Netsuke from the Teddy Hahn Collection, Barry Davies Oriental Art, pg. 83, ills. 115.

Length: 4.2 cm


126. A boldly carved boxwood okimono of the tickler who hopes to create a sneeze. Sneezing was considered a healthy occurrence that encouraged vitality. This humorous study enjoys the absurdity of the willful practice to stimulate this natural bodily function. Teeth, eyes and tickling stick in ivory. Properly placed himotoshi, but unlikely such a large piece would function well as a netsuke. Signed Ryugyoku.

Height: 7.0 cm



127. A late 18th century standing netsuke figure of a sweet young Ama with supple limbs and soft smile. She wears a grass skirt braided at the waist and holds a basket by its rope handle ready for her ocean harvest. The artist has created an appealing composition in the pattern of her wet locks of hair and the strands of her skirt. Folk art examples of this endearing subject were popular, however, this dear Ama has the contour and skill of an adept netsuke-shi. Ex: Marshall Collection.

Height: 6.5 cm


128. A netsuke of dual function serving as both toggle and a container for powdered ink. This carefully chosen miniature gourd is beautifully detailed in fine lacquer with flowering gourd vines of takamakié and hiramakié in gold and shakudô. Banded at the waist in silver and finished with a silver chrysanthemum rim and stopper. Circa 1880. 

Height: 7.8 cm



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9