Project Description


Ivory netsuke of tigers by Tomotada (active 1760-1780)

The adult licking the forepaw which it holds protectively over its cub. The head is slightly worn, but the coat retains its marking and stain.  The eyes of the adult are inlaid in dark horn

Signed. Kyoto, circa 1780

Height: 4.5 cm


Anonymous sale, Bonhams London, 11th November 2010, lot 102

Since then in a private French collection


There is something particularly pleasing about Tomotada’s netsuke of tigers with a cub. I can find only two others in which the adult licks its own paw, one being the Szechenyi example, lot 126 in her sale at Bonhams, 8th November 2011, lot 126