Project Description

Wood Netsuke of a Recumbent Boar by Hokyudo Itsumin

Lying placidly with a serene expression, the right foreleg flexed against the ground in readiness to get up. The ears lie flat against its head and tusks curve up from the corners of the mouth. The snout scents the air. The hairwork is finely incised and the eyes are double-inlaid in pale and dark horn. Natural himotoshi between the left legs

Meinertzhagen observes that it is likely that Itsumin spent his early years as a carver in Nagoya, possibly as a pupil of Ittan. This present work and its affinity to Nagoya school netsuke certainly seems to support this theory. An inferior boar netsuke in a similar pose, signed Itsuo, was offered by Sotheby’s, 17th May 2007, lot 831, where the cataloguer suggests it might be the work of Itsumin, but comparison of the quality of the two pieces would indicate otherwise. Fuld records only one boar by Itsumin, which is not the present one

Signed in an oval reserve: Itsumin. Tokyo, circa 1850

Length 4.7cm


D. Llewellyn Thomas collection, USA

Rutherston & Bandini Ltd, 2011

Private collection, Belgium