Project Description

Wood netsuke of a snake and turtle by Masatami (Shomin) 

The snake constricting the turtle which pushes back with its right front foot, the outcome of the encounter uncertain. The eyes of both creatures are inlays of dark horn. The wood has a fine colour and polish

Signed: Masatami (Shomin) to. Circa 1880

4.9 cm long


Fuld records four variants, but Masatami is one of those admirable artists, who may repeat subjects, but always with a difference, which allows one to be fairly certain that this is the one in Meinertzhagen.  Compare the composition of the snake with that on the netsuke in the Floyd Segel collection, sold by Sotheby’s in Chicago, 7th July1999, lot 97


Meinertzhagen Card Index, p. 467, illustrated with a line drawing