Lg Antique Japanese Carved Netsuke
Mongol On Fire
Running on One Foot with Crutch
Unsigned. Circa: 18th-early 19th Century
h. 3.6 in.(9cm), w. 1 in.(2.5cm), d. 1 in.(2.5cm)
Condition: minor age crack, o.a. very good!
man with a frightened expression pulling his beard running on one foot with a
clutch, wearing a horse-tailed Mongol hat indicating that he is a soldier on the
run. The netsuke is a complete departure from the usual Mongol archer theme, and
the highly unusual design possibly commemorates the 13th century historic event,
in which the overwhelming Mongol forces were defeated in a storm, and the word
kamikaze (divine wind) was first used to symbolizes the might of the Japanese
large broad face netsuke with horn inlaid bulging eyes, and a twisted opened mouth
showing an intricately carved set of teeth. This distinctive figure measures nearly
four inches in height, in a highly polished smooth surface that accentuates the
even shine in the planes, and flashes of light streaks in the undulating contours.
More remarkable is the ingenuity in the naturalistic treatment of the backside
of the figure. Where the outer layer is artfully preserved, with its variant of
brown hues polished to a glassy sheen; apparently resembles burning garments on
the Mongol who escaped from a firestorm. The vary sized himotoshi and aged patina
are consistent with netsuke of the 18th century. The figure appeared frozen in
motion. The countenances are both weird and powerful, grotesque and beautiful
all at once.
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