By Shozan, signed Shozan 枩山 with kakihan
Japan, first half of 19th century, Edo period (1615-1868)
Expressively carved with pierced bulging eyes below thick arched eyebrows and above a broad nose with pierced flaring nostrils, the forehead with several branching veins finely worked in ukibori, the demon biting his lower lip and showing two round front teeth flanked by two sharp fangs. The carving is accentuated with black lacquer inside the crevices, very much reminiscent of the Tanba school. The short cylindrical bridge connected by two lobed double-gourd-shaped elements, one with the signature SHOZAN with a kakihan.
HEIGHT 4.7 cm
Condition: Very good condition with minor surface wear.
Provenance: European collection P. Jacquesson, acquired from Kunsthandel Klefisch, 25 November 1995, Cologne, lot 399.
Buaku appears in various Kyogen – comic plays forming interludes between the more serious Noh dramas – and plays the part of an archetypal demon.
Compare the signature on the present lot on the one illustrated in Lazarnick (1981) Netsuke & Inro Artists, and How to Read Their Signatures, Vol. 2, p. 983, the corresponding netsuke described as “Large mask, wood, with gold eyes.”
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