Boxwood netsuke of a seated Mask Maker plying his craft with a finished mask in his left hand
and comparing it with the mask in the process of creation. His workbench is a tree stump. This finely-carved Tokyo-school
piece is full of life and joy. The signature, “Ryuraku,” is inscribed onto the bottom of the stump. Tokyo,
Meiji period, late-19th century.
Boxwood netsuke of a baby Tengu Emerging
from his Egg (Tengu no Tamago) with an ebony crown on his head. The egg is superbly rendered, as is the tengu—although,
from his expression, he is none too pleased at having to leave the comfort of the egg. This unique netsuke is a departure
for this Kyoto carver who is better known for his minutely rendered pavilion and landscape scenes. He is obviously much
more versatile as this extraordinary carving evidences. The signature, “Kagetoshi,” is incised onto the reverse
near the unequally-sized himotoshi. Kyoto, early Edo period, late-18th century.
Ebony netsuke of a seated Samurai Dining, his legs crossed underneath him as his left hand
grasps his upturned left foot. His right hand holds chopsticks ready to dig in to two inlaid pots of food laid before
him on a wood tray with a cooked egg on top of the smaller pot with a red bean and small fish on top of the other. A
boxwood cash purse (kinchaku) and inverted blue stone manju netsuke are inlaid and tucked into his belt on the left side of
his waist. The signature, “Sokoku,” is incised into the bottom of the tray with an inlaid lacquer plaque
containing his kakihan. This Tokyo-school carver is a very talented follower of, if not apprentice, to the master of
the Meiji period, Tokoku. Tokyo, Meiji period, late-19th century.