Project Description

Dark Stained Wood Netsuke of a Male Rat Licking a Hind Paw by Kano Tomokazu

An unusual and affecting composition. The tail provides a fixing for a cord. The incisors are inlaid in ivory, the eyes in dark buffalo horn
Signed. Gifu. Circa 1850
Length: 4.4 cm
I don’t know about anyone else, but I have always been decidedly wary of categoric netsuke attributions based on signatures, not least when it comes to additional dots and squiggles. In a short article apparently springing from a discussion of ivory netsuke by Tomokazu, Nori Watanabe conveyed the then current Japanese thinking about the signatures of 4 distinct artists using the name. If you subscribe to the theory, this netsuke is by Masakazu (Tomokazu II). I’m content to sit on the fence. See International Netsuke Society Journal, 21/2, p. 13
Provenance:
Allerton and Madelyn Hickmott, Hartford CT, sold at the estate sale, Sotheby’s New York, 8th February 1989, lot 250
Dr. M. Jaller, Potomac MD
Sydney L Moss, 2008, where purchased by the present owner
MR3994

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