Japanese Polychrome Netsuke
Mitsuboku, Circa: Taisho, early 1900s'
2 in.(5cm.), W 1.5 in.(4cm.), D 1.25in.(3.cm.)
Condition: Excellent !
remarkable netsuke illustrates the affectionate portrayals of tradesmen and workers
in the everyday life of the people, and although such works address mundane activities,
they are far from mundane in their treatment, and generally can be found to contain
lessons in Buddhist virtues. The Night Watchman is superbly carved revealing the
artistís thorough grasp of character in the poignant bearing of the kindly old
watchman, carrying a wooden clapper in his right hand, his left holding his lantern
as he calls out the hour. He wears a simple robe and trousers with an outer coat
of light red. Infinite care has been taken in the details of the fine woven fiber
of his hat, the barely visible textured fabric of the coat, and with the aid of
magnification it can be seen that his belt is fashioned from python skin of impossibly
fine marking, and so while the subject is a modest one, the object itself is an
extraordinary exercise in sumptuous perfection.
Sold To Private Collection