Circa 1829

Signed to the bottom, Tsu.
The finely sculpted coiled-up snake is symmetrical from the bottom, semi-symmetrical to the top, with fine scales and a nice deep patina.


L. 4.3 cm

- Sale, Sotheby’s London, 19 October 1983, lot 44
- Sale, Christie’s London, 21 July 2005, lot 199
- With Sagemonya, Tokyo 2006
- Sydney L. Moss, 2007, purchased by the present owner
- Private collection, France (consigned to Max Rutherston ltd.)

G. Wilhelm’s report of the Christie’s sale in INSJ, 25/4, p.45

Strikingly enough the form of this snake, with rectilinear coils at the back, is reminiscent of a frequently seen larger model by a distinctive earlier hand. Does this make some sort of connection with that earlier carver and Kokei’s master, Minko?
Who knows. Of the 350 netsuke by Kokei recorded by Fuld, only 9 are single snakes.

Prunus Wood netsuke of a snake by Kokei