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Antique Japanese Carved Netsuke
Karako
Riding Fukurokuju

Signature: Shounsai. Circa: mid 19th Century
Recorded artist in Netsuke by Neil K Davey #2527
Netsuke Handbook by Ueda Reikichi #1032
h. 1 in.(2.5cm), w. 1.6 in.(4cm), d. 0.8 in.(2cm)
Condition: hairlines, usage worn


Private Collection
Karako On Fukurokuju Netsuke

This compelling netsuke depicts a karako riding on the back of Fukurokuju, one of the seven Japanese gods of luck. Fukurokuju stands for happiness (fuku), wealth (roku), and longevity (ju). The child’s rope wraps around his characteristic elongated bald head, with the high hand finishing and passing ages, the ivory exhibiting an attractive gleam in the light. Details like the child’s bemused expression, the slight pinkish patina stained within Fukurokuju’s mouth and his comically large earlobes, and the finely etched detail of their clothing create added depth to this amusing and thought provoking piece. Signed Shounsai, a cataloged netsuke artist from the mid 19th century, he is known for his work in both wood and ivory, usually making fairly small figures with expressive faces and detailed dress patterns. The piece has a minor usage worn, and possible old restoration to the right rope around the head of Fukurokuju.

  
Karako On Fukurokuju Netsuke backKarako On Fukurokuju Netsuke Sig Shounsai
  
  
  
Karako On Fukurokuju Netsuke frontKarako On Fukurokuju Netsuke side
  
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