Fri, 29th Oct 2021 13:00

Fine Netsuke & Sagemono

 
  Lot 74
 

74

KAIGYOKUSAI MASATSUGU: A SUPERB UMIMATSU NETSUKE OF TWO NASUBI

By Kaigyokusai Masatsugu, signed Kaigyokusai 懐玉齋
Japan, Osaka, 19th century, Edo period (1615-1868)

Published:
Lazarnick, George (1981) Netsuke & Inro Artists, and How to Read Their Signatures, vol. 1, p. 562 (erroneously described as black wood).
Hurtig, Bernard (September 1978) What’s New At The Auctions, INCS Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, p. 15, no. 13.

Superbly carved as two eggplants (nasubi) with elegantly curved stems, fully exploiting the purple-black umimatsu (black coral or seapine), the almost black material with pale lacquer striations, lightly polished to show the grain.

LENGTH 5.4 cm

Condition: Excellent condition with minor wear, the material with natural fissures and flaws.
Provenance: Sotheby’s London, 28 June 1978, lot 13 (sold for 3,920 GBP, approx. 27,095 EUR today). A private collector, acquired from the above. German private collection, acquired from the above.

Umimatsu (lit. seapine) is in fact a species of black coral with dense texture, concentric growth rings, and amber or reddish colored inclusions in the otherwise brown-black material. True coral is a hard calcareous substance secreted by marine polyps for habitation; umimatsu, on the other hand, is a colony of keratinous antipatharian marine organisms. As a material, it was considered risky for carvers as it was prone to crack, crumble, or chip.

Sold for €12,640

including Buyer's Premium


 

By Kaigyokusai Masatsugu, signed Kaigyokusai 懐玉齋
Japan, Osaka, 19th century, Edo period (1615-1868)

Published:
Lazarnick, George (1981) Netsuke & Inro Artists, and How to Read Their Signatures, vol. 1, p. 562 (erroneously described as black wood).
Hurtig, Bernard (September 1978) What’s New At The Auctions, INCS Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, p. 15, no. 13.

Superbly carved as two eggplants (nasubi) with elegantly curved stems, fully exploiting the purple-black umimatsu (black coral or seapine), the almost black material with pale lacquer striations, lightly polished to show the grain.

LENGTH 5.4 cm

Condition: Excellent condition with minor wear, the material with natural fissures and flaws.
Provenance: Sotheby’s London, 28 June 1978, lot 13 (sold for 3,920 GBP, approx. 27,095 EUR today). A private collector, acquired from the above. German private collection, acquired from the above.

Umimatsu (lit. seapine) is in fact a species of black coral with dense texture, concentric growth rings, and amber or reddish colored inclusions in the otherwise brown-black material. True coral is a hard calcareous substance secreted by marine polyps for habitation; umimatsu, on the other hand, is a colony of keratinous antipatharian marine organisms. As a material, it was considered risky for carvers as it was prone to crack, crumble, or chip.

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