Early Dark Stained Softwood Netsuke of Gama Sennin, Attributed to Gisaburo Tsuji

Unusually the sennin holds a branch of peaches in his right hand while retaining the back leg of his 3 legged toad with the other. By contrast with the sennin’s eyes, which are merely carved, those of the toad are expertly double inlaid in horn

Unsigned. Circa 1780

Height: 8cm

Because of the nature of the wood used, some of the detail is worn, but it is different from many such representations of sennin. I initially hesitated to make an attribution, though the stance of the legs called Tsuji to mind. Comparison with some of the ten netsuke by him in the Moss catalogue ‘Meetings with Remarkable Netsuke’ lead me to believe this could by him.  He certainly carved in such woods on occasion.  Of course what is missing is the characteristic exaggerated himotoshi.  An early work perhaps? 

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