Until 1st Aug, 2023

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LOT 37 - NE0423

Buy now for €6,500.00

Lot details

Attributed to Yamaguchi Okatomo, unsigned
Japan, Kyoto, late 18th to early 19th century, Edo period (1615-1868)

Published: Sydney L. Moss Ltd. (2004) Outside the Box: Further Explorations in Japanese Netsuke and Lacquer, 2004, pp. 46-47, no. 20.

A finely carved ivory netsuke of a snake neatly coiled upon itself with its head resting on its body, the flickering tongue extending from its mouth, the tail sweeping in an elegant sinuous fashion to provide the natural himotoshi, the eyes inlaid with dark horn. The scales are neatly incised and darkly stained, the head is further detailed with subtle stippling. The surface has an attractive pale yellow glossy patina, shading low on the body and underneath to a matte reddish tone.


Condition: Very good condition, appealingly worn, few minor age cracks.
Provenance: Sydney L. Moss Ltd, London, 2004. French private collection, acquired from the above.

Museum comparison:
Compare a closely related ivory netsuke of a coiled snake by Yamaguchi Okatomo in the British Museum, registration number 1945,1017.603. This netsuke is also illustrated in Meinertzhagen, Frederick / Lazarnick, George (1986) MCI, Part B, p. 621, where Frederick Meinertzhagen describes it as a “wonderfully fine snake netsuke, rather cruder than is usually the case with Okatomo’s work, but absolutely real and alive and intensely attractive.” It was also included in the Red Cross exhibition in 1915, illustrated as no. 188, pl. LI.

Trade Certificate: The trade certificate for the sale of this lot within the EU has been granted (permit number FR2201700453-K).


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