Japan, late 19th century, Meiji period (1868-1912)
The wood ground finely decorated with Shibayama-sytle inlays of mother-of-pearl, coral, malachite, aventurine, wood, gold, and stained bone to depict two hares seated on the ground, one with its head raised toward the sky, no doubt looking up at the moon, both animals well detailed with neatly incised fur, round eyes, and long funnel-shaped ears, the ground further carved to indicate pebbles, the resulting recesses filled with gold dust.
HEIGHT 8.5 cm
Condition: Very good condition with minor wear, some light scratches to the top case.
Provenance: From an old East German private collection, assembled before 1980.
Compare a related gold-lacquer Shibayama-inlaid four-case inro also depicting two rabbits, the inlay by Masayuki, 9 cm high, dated Meiji period, with a wood netsuke in the form of a mushroom and a glass bead ojime, at Bonhams, 11 May 2017, London, lot 90 (sold for 2,750 GBP).
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