antique netsuke

A wood netsuke of a tanukiby Kokei, early 19th centuryRacoon dogWooden netsukeSigned: KokeiHeight: 3.5 cmThis netsuke represents the Tanuki (raccoon-dog) while he is beating his distended belly like a drum. The Tanuki is part of Japanese mythology and often appear in Japanese folklore as a shape-shifter with supernatural powers and mischievous tendencies. Can transform into any living or inanimate shape, but often assumes the form of a monk or a tea kettle to play tricks on people. In legends, the Tanuki can cast powerful illusions: they can turn leaves into fake money or horse...

Wood netsuke of a Dutchman19th centuryHeight: 8.5 cmNetsuke with a standing figure of a Dutchman in a curly wig, his mouth open, bending forward at the waist, a tasseled, trumpet-mouthed musical instrument in his right hand, his left hand behind his back supporting a small Chinese child (karako) which climbs on his right shoulder.The theme of foreigners, known during the Edo period as ijin or "different people”that indicates all the “non-Japanese", came from the strict rules intended by the Tokugawa shogun about the relationship between the archipelago and the...

Netsuke con polpo
A wood netsuke representing an octopus dressed in kimonoSigned: MiwaEdo school, early 19th centuryKatabori wood netsuke, with eyes inlaid in dark hornHeight: 6.8cmProvenance:Arlette Katchen collectionThe semi-anthropomorphic octopus, dressed in a haori, stands on four tentacles that an entrapped tiny monkey tries to force. The composition refers to a tale in which Ryūjin, the Dragon King of Sea, falls ill and is told by his doctor, an octopus, that the only remedy for his sickness is the liver of a live monkey.There were a number of carvers using the name Miwa, all living in Edo, the...

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