Project Description

Boxwood netsuke of snail by Naito Toyomasa (1773-1856)

Emerging from its shell and turning back, its optic tentacles lying flat across the shell, forming a compact composition in lightly stained and slightly worn wood, the flesh covered with ukibori pimples

Signed: shunshoan tomotada with his age of 68.  Circa 1842

Width: 4.1 cm


Sothebys London 20th June 2002, lot 589

Teddy Hahn, Darmstadt


There are three other recorded examples of the model made by Toyomasa, each inscribed with a different age. One, made at the age of 62, is illustrated in ‘The Meinertzhagen Card Index‘, p.953; another, also made at the age of 62, is illustrated in George Lazarnick, ‘Netsuke and Inro Artists and How To Read Their Signatures’, p.1193; also in Barbra Terri Okada and Mary Gardener Neill, ‘Real and Imaginary Beings’, p.76, no.66; and the third, made at the age of 60, is illustrated in Rosemary Bandini, ‘Shishi and Other Netsuke‘, p.130, no.189. According to W.W.Winkworth, the name Shunshoan was a go used by Toyomasa as an Ikebana expert


D.J.K. Wright, ‘Auctions’, in INSJ,22/3 p.37, lot 589