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18th Century Coral Inlaid Netsuke
Inu + Keyaki
Bony Dog with Ball

Attributed to Tomotada (Shichiemon Izumiya) ?
H 1.75 in.(4.5cm), W 1.75 in.(4.5cm), D 0.75 in.(2cm)
Condition: minor age cracks, o.a. very good!

A magnificently realized inu with head turning back, holding a keyaki in its two front paws, eyes inlaid in round umimatsu, in contrasts to the layers of defined brisk hairlines over a wavy rib cage. The superb artistry and style indicated its 18th century Kyoto school origin. Thorough research and careful comparison with dozens of major publications on the subject, conscientious attempts of assigning this unsigned netsuke to a secondary fame failed to stand. Which left us with two master inu carvers: Okatomo or Tomotada? Since Okatomo’s dogs are always realistic, well-fed with an emphasis on naturalism, while Tomotada rendered dogs are in similar naturalism at times, many of his stylized inu are more bulky, authoritative characteristics that are comparable with the bony look and feel of this rare unsigned work. In addition, the placement of its himotoshi is formed with a deep hole between its body and hind legs, which is known to be a signature touch of Tomotada. As Ueda Reikichi stated in The Netsuke Handbook: “His carvings were so alive and vivid that reportedly only a glance was necessary to determine their authenticity.” Therefore serious netsuke collectors are invited to take a closer look with the inu in hands and draw their own conclusions. (Two similar inu signed Tomotada are illustrated in “Netsuke, A Comprehensive Study Based On The MT Hindson Collection” by Neil K Davey. Pg.70-71, fig.180, 182.)

Estimated Value: $3000
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