Signature: Bunshi. Circa: mid 19th Century
in.(4.3cm), W 1.7 in.(4.3cm), D 1.4 in.(3.6cm)
street performers are caught in the heat of a New Year celebration. The man in
the tall hat is a Manzai dancer, found jumping for joy on top of a drum. It appears
that he is grabbing the grand prize in the parade, kicking the man to his right,
and knocking him off balance, at once cheering with the drummer-turned-drunkard
who spilled the wine barrel, and offering to the hovering dancer the last cup
of sake -- whose unrestrainted movements effectively integrated three lively players
in an impossible situation. The
dynamic composition is rendered with minute details, brilliantly executed in a
single block of ivory (pole inserted). The netsuke is signed Bunshi.
Despite our efforts, no record of the netsukeshi was found in our netsuke reference
library; the appreciation for the little gem is further accentuated for its rarity.