BRONZE BUDDHAWOOD BUDDHASTONE BUDDHAJAPANESE NETSUKE
    
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Large Antique Japanese Netsuke
Sarumawashi
Monkey and Trainer

Netsuke Signature: unsigned, 19th Century

H 1.5 in.(4cm.), W 2.75 in.(7cm), D 1.5 in.(4cm)

Condition: excellent!

 


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Even today, traveling across Japan, you may run across a sarumawashi; a professional showman who makes a living entertaining with his trained monkey. In this realistically carved netsuke the two halves of this performing duo exhaustedly rest on a straw mat. The monkey grabs at his trainer’s sleeve, reaching for food and affection while the man gazes into the distance, the worn look of a traveling artist distinguishing his face. A pack is slung across his back and a baton rests against his shoulder. Beautifully sculpted in curving, lifelike forms, the ivory is colored a light brown.

One of the features of this piece is what is known as a “natural himotoshi”, that is, a himotoshi created by the natural gaps within the contours of the sculpture. Though it could be argued that this piece is actually an okimono and not a netsuke, traces of wear on the trainer’s head, hands, and the monkey’s robe suggest netsuke like use. The piece is in very good condition.

  
Monkey Trainer Netsuke
  
  
  
  
  
Monkey Trainer Netsuke
  
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