Project Description

Large Ivory Okimono Netsuke of Sumo Wrestlers, by Toshinaga

One  lifting the other bodily, unaware that his opponent prepares to topple him using the kawazu throw.  The patterns of their keshomawashi aprons are engraved and inked as are other details including the hair of their heads and bodies, as well as their moustaches

Signed to the side of one buttock: Toshinaga with kaō. Circa 1880

Height: 11.4 cm


Christie’s London, 17th February 2005, lot 51, purchased by Max Rutherston for Dr. Karl-Ludwig Kley


Rosemary Bandini, Tiny Titans, the sumo netsuke collection of Karl-Ludwig Kley, 2006, pp. 19 & 67, no. 7 (illustrated)

While at first sight this might appear to be an okimono, partly because of its size and balance, partly because it stands, there is good evidence to suppose that it is a netsuke.  The artist is not well known, but is recorded in Lazarnick’s Netsuke and Inro Artists (vol. II, p. 1175), with what is described as a “huge solid ivory” manju, suggesting that the artist moved in sumo circles.  A smaller netsuke (7.5 cm) of the same subject was shown by the Galerie Zacke in Vienna, April-May 1990, catalogue no. 70, the signature rendered by the alternative reading of Toshinaga, Juei

Located in the European Union


Price Band N1520

From £15,000 - £20,000

See all N1520 items