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Antique Japanese Netsuke
Rosei
Dreaming as Emperor
Signature: Masatoshi. Circa: early 1900S'
H 1.2 in.(3cm), W 1.75 in.(4.5cm), D .75 in.(2cm)
Condition: excellent!

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Rosei's Dream Netsuke

A gorgeous piece from the 20th century netsuke artist Kogyoku depicting the Chinese story of Rosei and his dream. Rosei, unhappy with life in his native village, goes out to seek his fortune. While awaiting his meal at an inn, he falls asleep on a magic pillow, dreaming that he had married the emperor’s daughter, and in turn, had become the emperor himself. After waking to the maid brining him his meal, he goes back to his village, content with the thought that life is an empty dream.

Signed Masatoshi, the highly skilled artist used different signatures for different levels of quality, though little else is known about him asides from his consistently fine work and a tendency to work primarily in black and white. The piece itself is immaculately carved ivory, a dream emanating from Rosei over an etched dragon tsuitate (one- paneled Japanese screen) containing eleven minute figures dressed as priests and other members of the royal court. The tsuitate is etched on both sides, a dragon swirled with wind enclosed by wood. One of the more remarkable features is the design itself, its dual depiction of the dream world and the real world within the space. A fascinating and very well executed netsuke.

  
  
  
  
  
  
Rosei's Dream Netsuke Signed Masatoshi
  
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