Project Description

From the French collection shortly to be published as a catalogue on this website.  Not for sale before publication

Small Ivory Netsuke of Fukura Suzume, attributed to Masatomo

Based on the model by Masanao of Kyoto with a wonderful facial expression of shock at losing its tongue. The eyes are double inlays of horn, the darker pupils set into the back. The feet are carved in relief and the disposition of the himotoshi is clearly influenced by the master
Signed: Shoyusai.
Kyoto. Circa 1800
Width: 4.1 cm
The few netsuke signed Shoyusai are of no great consequence. What intrigues me about this netsuke is its close similarities to a Fukura Suzume by Masanao which I have seen. It leaves me wondering if the third kanji of the signature, sai, is not added, and whether this might be the work of Masatomo, whose relationship to Masanao is evident in several works
Literature:
Illustrated:
A. Barbanson, Fables in Ivory, p. 61, fig. 22
Connaissance des Arts, no.140, October 1963, p.108
D. Wright’s review of the Bonham’s sale in International Netsuke Society Journal, 33/2, p. 46
Provenance:
Adrienne Barbanson, purchased in Kyoto, 1956, and resold in her sale at Bonhams London, 13th May 2013, lot 29, purchased by Max Rutherston for the present owner
MR4121

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