Netsuke with Horn Inlay
Carrying Two Big Frog
Signature: Unsigned, Early 19th Century
h. 2.2 in.(5.5cm.), w. 0.9 in.(2.2cm.), d. 0.75 in.(2cm.)
Condition: worn, old chip on foot
Sennin is always associated with the toad or frog, considered an auspicious creature
and held in some fascination, perhaps because of its odd and warty appearance
but also because of its life span which may exceed thirty or forty years. It is
therefore associated with longevity, and identifies the immortal Gama Sennin as
the subject of this netsuke.
this is a piece that was well loved as a netsuke; it is worn smooth from age and
handling. However the irrepressible beaming face of the immortal is unspoiled,
and so attached to his frog that the creature has climbed upon his shoulder where
the sennin holds him by one webbed foot while the other is planted above the senninís
ear with a familiarity suggesting that they are truly inseparable. Gama Sennin,
holding a sceptre in his right hand, smiles broadly, conveying great happiness
and abundance. He is seen as a rustic, with a coat of mugwort leaves. His round
belly bulges from beneath an emaciated upper torso. The frog on the other hand,
is plump and weighty, with inlaid horn eyes. (The inlays of the senninís eyes
have been lost.) Senninís grip on the frog may suggest that prosperity is assured.
Color ranges from pale to golden with all the strong lines remaining, excellently
carved with a fluid hand and full of spirit.
Sold To Private Collection