Project Description

Ebony seal netsuke of a shishi 

The lion standing on a rectangular seal base, its head lowered and turned to the left with a menacing expression, the eyes and teeth inlaid and the base cut with formal seal characters and the word tenko

Circa 1850

5.7cm across


Julius and Arlette Katchen collection, Paris, purchased from W.W. Winkworth, London, 1963


Tenko may be the name of a maker or more likely an inscription, which translates as ‘Heaven-gifted craftsman’ (see Lazarnick’s notation in Meinertzhagen, MCI, p.860).


Arlette Katchen, ‘Netsuke 7’, vol.2, p. 235, no. K443

Bonhams London, ‘The Julius and Arlette Katchen Collection of Fine Netsuke: Part III’, 6th May 2018, lot 171(estimate £2,000-3,000)