Boxwood Netsuke of Fukurokuju in the manner of Tsuji Gisaburo
Larger than many such netsuke. Unusually a small toad is attached to a cord which runs over and down the back of the deity’s phallic cranium
Unsigned. Circa 1800
Height: 7.5 cm
This is carved from a hard piece of boxwood which has suffered very little wear. The detail of the carving is sharp and the height of the netsuke is a good 1 cm taller than most known examples by Tsuji. It is iconographically and stylistically closest to the example in the Peabody Essex Museum at Salem (cat. p. 20). 2 others are illustrated in Moss, ‘Meetings with Remarkable Netsuke’, nos. 30-31, and 11 in Robert McGowen’s extensive article on the artist in the Journal of the International Netsuke Collectors’ Society, 9/4, on pp. 40-43. But all these examples have the himotoshi situated side by side, leading me to think that this is by another artist than Tsuji, but one every bit his equal.