Kyoto, circa 1820, signed


It crouches with a paw holding its tail in front, while the other scratches its cheek, producing a slight pucker. The tip of its tongue is visible. The feet are exceptionally well carved. The eyes are large inlays of dark buffalo horn, bringing the whole carving to life. The ivory has a beautiful colour and polish, cementum creating the effect of a piebald patch on the right side of the face. Much of the original hair work and stain remains. With some age cracks.

Length: 4.7 cm

Sotheby's New York, 29th may 1980, lot 18
With Max Rutherston ltd. (2020)
With us (pre-2021)


JINCS, 8/2, sale report by Bernard Hurtig, in which he observes: ".... a rat by a lesser-known Kyoto School artist, Okakoto, lacking personality, and did not possess very crisp or sharp carving". So much for his sensitivity!

Exceptional netsuke of a rat by Okakoto