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