Project Description

An Intricately Carved Marine Ivory Netsuke of Fish, by Ikkosai Toun (1804-1876)

Comprising an octopus, small squid and crab, a crayfish, an eel, a turbot or similar large flounder, and numerous other varieties, about 30 fish in all, many with eyes inlaid in silver, gold and horn

Signed: Ikkosai

4.7 cm across


Hahn collection

Anonymous sale, Klefisch, Cologne, 12th October 2013, lot 829

Jacques Carré collection

This is one of a small group of astounding netsuke by the artist.  One, very similar to the present netsuke, was in the Behrens collection, illustrated in Joly, pl. XXX, no. 1775. A second, allegedly carved with 50 fish, was sold at Glendinings, July 1937. These two are recorded in the MCI, on pp. 940 and 941 respectively. Another, again very similar to the present netsuke, surfaced at a Piasa sale, Paris, 22nd October 2004, lot 34, and is illustrated in Gabor Wilhelm’s sale report in the INSJ, 25/1, p. 14. A fourth, in a private German collection, is different in having a mermaid amongst the fish

Photo ref. B211b