Japanese Stag Antler Tsutsu
Three Immortals Pipe case
Signature: Ranshi, 19th Century
Recorded Artist In: 1) Netsuke, A Comprehensive
on the M.T. Hindson Collection by Neil K. Davey #1980
Netsuke Handbook by UedaReikichi, #809
H 9in.(22.5cm.), W 1in.(2.5cm.),
D .75 in.(2cm.)
Good,. small chip
Japanese pipe case was used along with a tobacco box or pouch. It was made to
hold the kiseru, a long stemmed and tiny bowl pipe that holds no more than three-puffs
of tobacco. The pipe case is called "tsutsu" in common language. Similar to the
inro, it is suspended by the same combination of silk cord and ojime. Concurrent
with netsuke, tsutsu were in use during the Tokugawa, until Meiji and early Showa
period. At first they were favored by common peasants, then gradually increasing
numbers of samurai and aristocrats began to wear the elegantly crafted tsutsu,
thus indirectly contributed to the diminishing use of netsuke.
Beautiful 19th century stag antler tsutsu depicts a intricate rendering of three
immortals and a small boy in deep release carving. Starting at the upper section
of the pipe case, a Rakan with chin rested on two hands deeply absorbed in a book.
The larger section below atop with the head of a dragon, and two immortals are
shown beneath in surrounding floral motifs. The immortals are dressed in richly
incised Chinese robes. The center figure appears to be an official or aristocrats,
and the bald-headed old man seen greeted by a small boy is likely Fukurokuju.
These figures are very spirited, and it is in a well arranged composition that
leaves plenty for the eyes. The stag antler is beautifully polished, and an original
aged golden patina with a even shine to the piece. It has no cracks, no losses,
no damages, no restorations, and is in excellent condition.
Sold To Private Collection