By Tametaka, signed Tametaka 為隆 with a kakihan
Japan, Nagoya, late 18th century, Edo period (1615-1868)
Published: Rutherston & Bandini (2013) Japanese Netsuke, no. 19.
Depicting a standing screen (tsuitate) finely carved on one side with a celestial dragon amongst voluminous clouds, grasping a tama and glaring down at a tiger seated at the feet of the screen, looking up towards the dragon with a feeble expression. The reverse carved with bamboo and a large perforation showing one of the dragon’s claws, which forms the ‘natural’ himotoshi. Signed in the back in raised characters – TAMETAKA and kakihan.
HEIGHT 3.3 cm
Condition: Excellent condition, the wood of a very good color.
Provenance: Sotheby's New York, 13 December 1979, lot 21. Re-sold at Sotheby's New York, 8 December 1981. Then in an Austrian private collection, sold at Sotheby’s Paris, 10 June 2014, lot 370 (sold for 6,000 EUR), then in a French private collection.
Both the tiger and dragon have important meanings in Buddhist and Taoist philosophy, together representing the yin and yang, the earth and sky, or the male and female. Furthermore, they represent strength, resilience and courage.
Another netsuke of a tsuitate was sold at Bonhams, Fine Japanese Art, 15 May 2014, London, lot 50 (sold for 12,500 GBP). Also compare the manner of the tiger in the present netsuke to one sold at Bonhams, Fine Netsuke from the Adrienne Barbanson Collection, 10 May 2013, London, lot 9 (sold for 10,625 GBP).
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