A fine, compact and ideally shaped netsuke depicting a bearded Chinese immortal, wearing a Taoist cap and holding a scroll, while mounting a horse. The horse is shown with its legs tucked tightly together and looking downwards, as if it was navigating a narrow mountain pass, which could mean that the immortal is Roshi (Laozi), however the latter rode on a water buffalo. More likely this netsuke depicts Konfuzius, known as Koshi in Japan. The robes of the immortal are finely incised with cloud patterns. ‘Chimney himotoshi’ through the underside and backside showing some wear and signature MASANAO. Probably a pupil of Masanao from Kyoto. The piece also shows some influence from Yoshinaga of Kyoto.
HEIGHT 7 CM
Condition: Very good condition with an appealing patina
Provenance: European private collection