Stained Ivory Netsuke of a Shishi, Circle of Ishikawa Rensai
Recumbent on a base in the form of a zabuton
Unsigned. Tokyo, circa 1880
Length: 3.2 cm
To comprehend how close this is to the work of Rensai, see a similar netsuke in Moss, ‘Kokusai the Genius’, vol. III, nos. 335 and 336, especially the latter. It is tempting to think, in comparing the forms of eye brows, tail and mane, that they are by the same artist, were it not for one telling detail, cuticles on the claws of the present netsuke. Might this be the work of Rensai II (born 1853)?