antique netsuke

Netsuke ashinaga-tenaga
Ashinaga and TenagaEarly 19th centuryIvory netuske,Ashinaga ("long legs") and Tenaga ("long arms") are two Chinese mythical figures who use their abnormally long limbs to fish: with his long legs, Ashinaga can easily emerge from the waters of the rivers and watching everything from above, while Tenaga sinks his long arms into the water, searching fishes or shellfish of which both are greedy. This couple brought their example of the benefits of a peaceful cooperation, transforming what might appear at first as a physical disfigurements, in a mutually beneficial feature...

Kitsune netsuke
Ivory netsuke of a Kitsune, Dancing fox19th centuryHeight: 7.4 cmProvenance:Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London, 1966In the traditional Japanese mythology the kistune are a very common subject: long-lived creatures with great intelligence, they are able to develop supernatural powers such as the ability to change appearance and deceiving people by assume human form.At fifty years old, the kitsune gains the ability to turn into a woman or to possess the body of human beings (kitsunetsuki)At the age of a thousand years, it becomes white or gold, increases his powers and ascends...

A wood netsuke of an islander19th centuryWooden netsukeHeight 6.5 cmThis netsuke shows a Pacific Islander with a spyglass or telescope. At the time of the opening of Japan to Western trade and religion, there was genuine concern that the inhabitants of the islands would be terrified by the strange attire and looks of the sailors and Sea Captains. To avoid this, a print of a sailing ship and her crew was circulated. At this time, the first Westerners allowed into Japan were the Dutch, who used Pacific Islanders as crew members. The print showed one such Islander with a spyglass...

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