Project Description

Ebony netsuke of a Shishi by Nanyō

Recumbent and curled in on itself, looking upwards.  The entire surface is carved with knots of hair.  The eyes are inlaid in brass

Signed: Nanyō. Izumi, circa 1850

4.1 cm across


Sale, Christie’s London, 29th June 1978, lot 174

Sydney L. Moss Ltd., London

Arlette Katchen, Paris, acquired 5th June 2000


This or a remarkably similar variant was in the Bushell collection, sold Sotheby’s London, 18th November 1999, lot 305, juxtaposed with a very similar Toun.  Another is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, accession no. 1985.399.15, illustrated on the website. I know of one other, which I myself sold, purchased by Sydney Moss at Christie’s London, 29th June 1978, lot 174, sold to Arlette Katchen and sold to her in 2000. At one time Nanyō was thought to be an Iwami artist, which probably he was not


The Moss variant is published in:

Lazarnick, Netsuke and Inro Artists and How to Read Their Signatures, p. 650, illlustrated

Sydney Moss Ltd., Myth, Reality and Magical Transformation, 2000, no. 38