Project Description

Stained Bone Netsuke of Fruit by Bunzan

A twisted branch with two peaches and a finger citron (alt. Buddha’s hand). Natural himotoshi
Signed. Tokyo. Circa 1870
Length: 4.1 cm
The artist is little known, but we have previously handled a stylish dark stained elephant ivory manju with a turtle amongst leaves, evidently from the circle of carvers associated with Kokusai. Paul Moss illustrates a stag antler crab by him in his magnum opus on the school, vol. III, no. 554, noting its similarity to another by Hoshunsai Masayuki. What he does not do there is to follow up on the other recorded works which consist of a zoomorphic ewer (Hull Grundy bequest to the British Museum, Harris, no. 534) and a frog in curled lotus leaf (Lazarnick, NIA, p. 324), both also close to Masayuki. This leaves one to surmise that Bunzan may be another art name for Masayuki; if not he must have been a talented apprentice
Provenance:
Sale Guffroy, Amiens, 3rd July 2004, purchased by the present owner
MR3959

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