Early Shell Manju Netsuke
The body of the netsuke is a substantial shell which has been ground smooth on the outside and decorated in hiramakie lacquer with three workmen with shells, one wielding a huge hammer. The reverse is lacquered and fitted with a silver loose ring and kiku escutcheon
Unsigned. Circa 1700
5.2 cm across
Sadly much of the hiramakie scene has been worn off, though one can see the outlines if the design. This belongs firmly to the type of netsuke discovered when the tomb of ….. was reopened in recent years.