Nagoya, circa 1850, signed

L. 4.2 cm

The two rats huddled close together, one curled into a ball in order to lick a hind leg. The eyes of both are inlays of dark buffalo horn, and the incisor teeth of the recumbent rat are also inlaid.

Well-known netsuke specialist Neil Davey’s catalogue note in the Katchen sale catalogue states: “Ikkan produced several examples of the subject, of which this is one of the finest recorded.”

- Julius and Arlette Katchen Collection, sold at their first sale, Sotheby’s London, 8 November 2005, lot 104
- Private collection, France (consigned to Max Rutherston ltd.) 

- G. Wilhelm’s report of the Katchen sale in: Bulletin no. 89 (online edition only, ill.)
- A. Katchen, Netsuke 7, vol. 2, pp. 27-28, no. K277 (ill.)

Fine and charming Cherry wood netsuke of two rats by Ikkan