Circa 1800

The bamboo forms a snow-covered canopy over his head as he blows on a hand to warm it and tugs at a bamboo shoot with the other, unsigned.


This netsuke belongs to a distinctive group of netsuke of the same overall design by either one carver or a workshop.

H. 6.8 cm

- V.-F. Weber, Guest, W.W.Winkworth, D. Bess, C.A Greenfield collections, Auction 1979
- The Jacques Carré Collection

- With us, acquired in 2019


Japan House Gallery, The Magnificent Three, New York, 1979

- V.-F. Weber, Ko-ji Ho-ten, pl. XXXIX, fig. 5 (ill.)

- H.L. Joly, Legends in Japanese Art, p. 358 (ill.)

- Japan House Gallery, The Magnificent Three,  New York, 1972, p. 93, no. 14 (ill.)


The legend of Moso is a famous Japanese story. Moso fulfilled his sick mother’s wish to eat bamboo shoots in mid-winter by journeying to a snow-covered bamboo grove, where after praying, he miraculously found a huge cache of delicious bamboo shoots beneath the snow. 

Early Netsuke of Moso in a Bamboo Grove