A large and expressive netsuke, unsigned but certainly by Yoshinaga or a pupil. Gama Sennin is seated with a protruding belly and mugwort leaf cloak with finely engraved cloud patterns. He is grinning from ear to ear as he holds up a bulky toad. The eyes of the pair are inlaid in horn. The underside showing the well-carved feet and one hand which he uses to support himself, as well as the himotoshi which leads to the other one in the back. Gama Sennin is derived from the Chinese immortal Liu Hai who is depicted with his ‘three-legged money toad’.
HEIGHT 3.9 CM, LENGTH 5.4 CM
Condition: The ivory is worn with some age cracks - generally, in very good and complete condition, good yellow patina on the underside
Provenance: The 40-Year Collection of a London Gentleman
Auction comparison: A very similar netsuke from Yoshinaga, however with a larger variation of the toad, was sold at Bonhams, Fine Japanese Art Including Two Masterpieces by Kitaoji Rosanjin (1183-1959), London, 7 November 2013, lot 13.
Another netsuke by Yoshinaga, with the same style of toad, however of lesser quality was sold at Bonhams, Fine Japanese Art, London, 11 November 2010, lot 135.