Gifu, circa 1820, signed


Stained cherry wood netsuke of a rat nibbling on a shogi piece, inscribed keima, which it holds in its front paws, its serpentine tail provides a cord attachment and the eyes have inlays of dark buffalo horn, the incisor teeth also inlaid.


With its oblique reference to a horse, the shogi piece neatly makes the netsuke into a joint representation of two Zodiac animals.

Length: 4.2 cm

- Private collection, Japan
- Auction, Sotheby’s London, 14 July 2005, lot 1033

- Private Collection, France (Consigned to Max Rutherston ltd.)

Netsuke, Edo saimitsu kogei no hana [Netsuke, Flowers of miniature carving of the Edo period], organised buy the Nihon Netsuke Kenkyukai, Tokyo, 1995, No. 116

Fine Cherry Wood Netsuke of a Rat nibbling on a Shogi Piece, by Kano Tomokazu