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Antique Narwhal Netsuke
Shojo

Wearing Sake Cup for Hat
Netsuke Signature: Kosan, mid 19th century
Recorded in: Netsuke, A Comprehensive Study Based on
the M.T. Hindson Collection by Neil K. Davey, #1290.
The Netsuke Handbook by Ueda Reikichi, #561
The Signature Book by George Lazarlich 1976
H 2.5 in.(6.3cm.), W 1 in.(2.5cm.), D 1 in.(2.5cm.)
Condition: Slight worn, no damage

Shoko is a drunkard; usually portrayed as a woman, red-faced and red-haired and often, as in this incredibly smooth and beautifully marked work, smiling affably, lost in her cup. Here the overturned cup has grown to enormous proportions (showing her prodigious capacity for imbibing;) she steadies it on top of her head as she stands with one foot set firmly upon the foundation of contentment--the dipper--and looks out with an affable grin. Although she is perfectly intact with no breakage, her drunkenness has made her unable to stand up by herself, and for many years she has depended on the wearer’s sash to keep her upright. It is difficult to describe the alluring tactility of this piece. The unusual material, perhaps narwhal tusk, is extremely dense with a jewel-like hardness and color ranging from creamy white to pale gold with streaks of blue. It is highly polished and exceedingly smooth to the touch, marked by textured detail in the cloud patterned robes. Signature on the rim of the overturned cup.

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