Circa 1820

Derived from the model by Masanao of Kyoto, the plump bird sits comfortably, with a characteristic beak, folded up claws and signed on the bottom, with attractive natural age cracks , touch and patina.


L. ? cm across


Private collection, France
With us, pre-2022


Fukura Suzume literally means "puffed-up sparrow". Its meaning as a symbol of happiness is based on the homonym "fuku", which means both happiness and swelling. The invention of this type of netsuke probably goes back to Masanao from Kyoto. In the second half of the 18th century, he created such sparrows with funny heads, short, spread wings and raised tail feathers "as in the courtship display" (Brockhaus 1925, p. 440) both in ivory and boxwood. The bird therefore serves as a talisman for a happy life, getting better everyday.

Charming small Netsuke of the bird Fukura Suzume by Genko