A large okimono style netsuke of a male monkey eating fruit in a seated position. He is presumably eating a kaki fruit (persimmon), which would be reminiscent of the saru kani kassen, the Monkey-Crab Battle, a Japanese folk tale. Extraordinary, densely carved fur, lively face with eyes inlaid in dark horn and teeth inlaid with ivory. The fingers and toes are especially nautralistic, and the monkey’s legs are crossed, forming the himotoshi. Carved signature MASANAO in a typical smooth oval reserve on the underside of one of the legs.
HEIGHT 4.9 CM, LENGTH 5.7 CM
Condition: Excellent condition
Provenance: German private collection
Auction comparison: Compare to an almost identical sold at Bonhams, The Julius and Artlette Katchen Collection of Fine Netsuke Part II, London, 10 May 2017, lot 109.