Project Description

Prunus Wood Netsuke of Shoki and Oni

Oni crouches impishly just out of sight on top of Shoki’s hat, a small drum behind him, while the latter pulls down on its brim with his remarkably long thin fingers and scowls.  Shoki’s eyes inlaid in dark material

Unsigned. Circa 1780

Height: 8.3 cm 


Raymond and Francis Bushell collection

Edward and Marilyn Flower collection, New York, sold at their sale at Christie’s SK, 4th November 2009, lot 1


My own theory is that this is a netsuke by Tametaka. Why? You ask. The use of a prunus wood, the curious fingers of Shoki, which are somehow analogous with the claws of some of his animals.  Although they are very different, I can find a couple of points in common with the slightly rough Shoki in the Cuturi collection, Ducros, p. 264