Antique Japanese Coral Inlaid Netsuke
Dhamapala Protecting Tennin
Signature: Tomomasa (To) Circa: mid 19th century
in: Netsuke, A Comprehensive Study Based on
the M.T. Hindson Collection by
Neil K. Davey, #2987
The Netsuke Handbook of Ueda Reikichi by R. Bushell #1208
H 2.5in.(6cm.), W 1.25in.(3cm.), D 1.25 in.(3cm.)
Condition: natural himotoshi, o.a. excellent!
superb netsuke by a well known master, depicting Agyo Nio protecting a beautiful
maiden or goddess, who is seen holding a lute, or koto. Masterfully carved in
creamy ivory, well marked and polished to a high hand finish. Finely engraved
hair, features and embroideries, the eyes of the Nio inlaid in black coral. The
guardian deity is powerfully rendered, with rippling musculature and fierce expression,
the mouth open with teeth individually carved and bushy eyebrows modeled as soft
mounds of fur. The maiden, whose features and expression exemplify the Japanese
ideal of feminine beauty, stands back modestly, attired in layered kimono and
trailing scarves, the delicately patterned robes falling in graceful folds that
cover her feet. The elegant coiffure is piled into two swirling coils ornamented
with a flying bird. Signature without reserve on the bottom: Tomomasa. He is Listed
in: Netsuke by A. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1905. The Art of the Netsuke Carver by F.
Meinertzhagen, British Museum, London 1955.