Project Description

Ivory Netsuke of a Snake and Toad, attributed to Kaigyokusai Masatsugu (Osaka 1813-92)

The curled serpent has already seized the hind legs of the ill fated toad in its mouth, leaving scant room for optimism. The skin of both animals is worked and stained, their eye pupils inlays of horn, those of the snake black, those of the toad red

Signed: Masatsugu. Osaka. Circa 1835-40

4 cm across


Witt collection, sold at Glendining, London, 30th June 1948, lot 74

M.T. Hindson collection, sold at the sixth sale, Sotheby’s London, 11th March 1969, lot 927

Bought at the sale by Jacques Carré


For an account of why this may well be an early work of Kaigyokusai, see the entry in the Eskenazi catalogue (op. cit.)