Project Description

Boxwood netsuke of two monkeys, by Naito Toyomasa I (Tamba, 1773-1856)

An almost fully grown female ape clambers onto the back of its long suffering mother, whose paw rests on a chestnut. The mouth of the young is sharper and more beak like than that of the parent.  The eyes of both are  horn inlays typical of the artist

Signed: Toyomasa saku. Circa 1850

Height: 4.9 cm

Monkey groups by Toyomasa rare, Fuld recording 3 pairs, of which one is of wrestling monkeys on a base (Collections Baur, no. 1042), another in the Sotheby’s London catalogue of the Newstead collection, 24th October 1984, lot 84.The best comparisons are with the 2 known groups of 3 monkeys, both sold at Bonhams London, the first in the Harriet Szechenyi sale, 8th November 2011, lot 155 (£82,850), the second in the Adrienne Barbanson sale, 13th May 2013, lot 20 (the most expensive lot of the sale at £63,650)