Nagoya, circa 1850, signed

L. 4.3 cm

Stained wood netsuke of a rat and shogi piece. The male rodent lies with one front paw grasping the edge of the game piece and the other raised.

One hind paw grips its tail. Its eyes are inlaid with dark buffalo horn and the hairs are lightly incised all over, their lines lightly worn in some places. The chess piece is inscribed ‘Keima’ which is the equivalent of the knight/horse.
With its oblique reference to a horse, the shogi piece neatly makes the netsuke into a joint representation of two Zodiac animals.

- Sydney L. Moss, 2005

- Private collection, France (consigned to Max Rutherston ltd.)

Moss, More things in Heaven and Earth, 2006, no. 56 (ill.)
Harris,  The Hull Grundy Collection in the British Museum, p. 47, no. 149 (comparable)
Atchley and Davey, The Virginia Atchley Collection, p. 29, no. N6. (comparable)


A fine boxwood netsuke of a rat and shogi piece by Ikkan