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Shoki and Monkey Netsuke

Antique Japanese Carved Netsuke
Shoki
Monkey On Shoulders

Netsuke Signature: unsigned, Circa: 18th century
H 2.75in.(7cm), W 1 in.(2.5cm), D 0.75 in.(2cm)
Condition: usage worn, hairlines, o.a. good!

This 18th century netsuke of Shoki, the Demon Queller clutching his characteristic sword, and uncharacteristically, a monkey is perched on his shoulders. The monkey is a sign of ugliness and trickery, and perhaps is a stand-in for the more commonly seen oni and Shoki combination. It is also possible that the monkey is a pun, stemming from the children’s folk tale ‘Kin Shoki Shoki’ (literally translated as ‘The Sound of Washing Rice‘), a story about a monkey and an old man in the mountains.

The figure of Shoki is expertly etched and aged beautifully, a creamy yellow patina covering the many nooks and crannies. A well preserved antique netsuke, the flattened perspective of his backside is reminiscent of Japanese wood block prints. Carved through detail like his two legs protruding from his robe, and the contours of the monkey create bending points of perspective, while his robe is etched with an enticing fluffy cloud motif. The piece is unsigned, as was the common practice for netsuke at the time.

Sold To Private Collection

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    
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