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18th Century Japanese Gilded Antler Netsuke
Sake Cup

Sig. unsigned, Circa: Edo period, 1603-1867
H 1 in.(2.5cm), W 2.75 in.(7cm), D 1.5 in.(3.5cm)
gilt lost, age crack, else in very good c


Estimate: $600-700
text/call: 510-918-2333

A naturalistic carving of an antler sake cup with a twirling rim. Its interior has been hollowed out into a smooth concave, surfaced with maroon colored lacquer and gilded gold, in a direct contrast to the carefully preserved antler texture on the exterior, where a small ring serves as a himotoshi for the cord.

It is seldom acknowledged by collectors that the materials of netsuke are often applied to medical purpose in Japan. One popular ingredient for allaying flu and fever is the tusk of narwhale. So it is also commonly believed that by ingesting a scrapings of ivory can retract a thorn or splinter, and a stag antler is used as an aphrodisiac and antidote for adder bite. In light of its versatility, no doubt this multi-purpose netsuke was a treasure wore by many of its owners; and yet we see only minor gilt loss and a small age crack on the rim.

Gilt Sake Cup NetsukeGilded Antler Sake Cup Netsuke bottom
Sakazuki Netsuke rtantler Sake Cup Netsuke lt
Antler Sakazuki NetsukeAntler Sake Cup Netsuke
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