Project Description

Large ivory netsuke of a shishi by Kaigyokusai Masatsugu (Osaka 1813-92)

Seated with head turned to the left and scratching with a hind paw. The mane and tail are a riot of curls, the latter with significant undercutting. The hairs of the coat are incised all over and inked. The eyes have inlaid pupils in ebony


Height 4.7 cm


Ephrussi collection


Two netsuke of this subject with exuberant Kaigyokusai signatures are known. One was in the Katchen collection, Paris, offered in the first sale at Sotheby’s London, 8th November 2005, lot 30, and illustrated in Netsuke 7, vol. 1, p. 153. The other is in the Bushell bequest to LACMA, illustrated in Goodall et al, p. 192, no. 209. The Katchen is the largest at 5.4 cm high, while the LACMA one is recorded as being 4.8 cm