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129. A netsuke study of a very congenial Gama Sennin wearing mugwort cape, resting upon a scholar’s rock with his companion the 3-legged toad of happiness. Carved of walrus ivory where the composition ingeniously incorporates the granular nerve cavity of this difficult material. This netsuke is so idiosyncratic as to be definitively attributed to Chogetsu. Mid-19th century. 

Height: 4.0 cm


130. Kokei, at his very sensitive best, this frog resting upon a worn raffia sandal is of extraordinary detail. The sandal’s woven fibers drape and separate in the most naturalistic manner and the frog has a quality of movement, even in his resting pose. The rope of the upturned sandal forms the natural himotoshi. Signed in a rectangular reserve with paper labels remaining from an old collection. Circa 1810.

Length: 4.8 cm



131. 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


132. 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


133. 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


134. 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


135. An antique ivory netsuke of the symbols of prosperity, abundance and good health. A ‘kinchaku’ – coin purse, a rat – mascot of Daikoku the god of wealth, and a mushroom that here functions as the netsuke to carry the kinchaku. Well patinated with irregular himotoshi and eyes inlaid. Circa 1820.

Length: 4.8 cm


136. A marvelous contemporary ceramic netsuke by the late artist Armin Muller depicting a frog clambering over a section of timber bamboo. Symbols of good luck and strength, respectively, Armin’s inspiration for this netsuke is a talisman of good fortune for the wearer. Fine vitreous porcelain with celadon glaze. Signed with his characteristic go, Mizu. 

Height: 4.4 cm


137. 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


138. A very happy Shishi with a broad laughing grin, this boxwood netsuke is highly engaging with its classic stylized composition of tufted fur and curls of tail and mane. Boldly carved, he rests on his rear haunches with powerful paws, flared nostrils and bright eyes beneath a knitted brow. A loose ball is caged within his toothy grin. Characteristic wear to the high points. Early 1800’s.

Length: 4.7 cm


139. A very pleasant netsuke adaptation of the Shishifukujin or the treasure ship of the 7 Lucky Gods. Each Shinto deity is readily discernible by their given attributes. Bishamon with his warrior’s mantel and pagoda, Hotei with his round belly, Fukurokuju with his very tall head, Jurojin with his crane and scholar’s cap, Ebisu with his tai fish, Benten with her biwa, and Daikoku in his merchant’s garb. They ride within a dragon ship, waves lapping at its sides as a pair of minogame, symbols of wisdom and longevity, greet them from the sea. Signed Ryusa in an irregular cartouche. Mid-19th century.

Length: 4.0 cm


140. An early 18th century netsuke of a standing Shoki with sword drawn in the saishiki technique of painted cypress. Worn from 300 years of hand held attention.

Height: 6.6 cm



141. A most unusual netsuke composition that depicts the legend of Kikujido, the chrysanthemum boy. Here he rests nestled among the petals of what by scale is a massive Fuji Chrysanthemum in full bloom. Kikujido was banished to spare his life for having gazed upon the countenance of his liege lord Emperor Muh Wang. The emperor loved his liege and bestowed upon him a mantra of compassion to inscribe on the petals of kiku blossoms that grew in abundance in the valley of his exile. Detailed beneath the blossom with a fine silver metal leaf, studded with gold dew drops. Signed Koyu. Middle 19th century. Ex: Bernard Kotkin Collection.

Length: 4.5 cm


142. A well patinated boxwood netsuke of a long eared hare and young, huddled together, their plump bodies forming a very tactile composition. Eyes inlaid in amber. Signed Shuzan. Early to mid-19th century.

Length: 3.8 cm


143. An 18th century ivory netsuke in the form of a primordial egg from which a Dragon issues among rolling clouds clutching the pearl of wisdom. His mouth agape heralding his arrival as a supernatural being. Richly patinated with variations of honey to orange color that are characteristic of early ivory that was frequently handled. Ex: Carlo Monzino Collection.

Length: 4.2 cm


144. A late 18th century Kanshitsu (dry lacquer) cypress wood netsuke of a rather joyous farmer celebrating the harvest dance. He wears his best festival coat over a fundoshi and performs the movements of folk dances, the tradition of which is hundreds of years old.

Height: 5.4 cm