little is known of his life, Gyokuseki's netsuke are recorded in London as early
as 1922, in the W.L. Behrens Collection, by Henry Joly.
wildly triumphant Shoki has got the best of a wimpering oni, who howls in protest
under his feet. Shoki is in midair, his garments billowing, sleeves blowing out
around him as he jumps to trample on his captive. Carved from the very tip of
a fine Asian tusk, this close grained cream lightly stained to a honey tone and
is marked with moire patterns and striations characteristic of quality material.
The piece is exceptionally dramatic and well-carved, the beard and hair of Shoki
flying upward into a fastening from which it cascades down his back in separate
heavy locks colored with black ink. The inimitable expression is wide-eyed and
furious, the ears sticking out from behind the clasped beard and hair, his sword
ready at his side and his left arm adding pressure to the weight of his foot stomping
on the oniís head. Detailed with finely engraved patterns on the garment and hems,
with fluent signature left of the himotoshi: Gyokuseki.
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