Published: Illustrated in the Meinertzhagen Card Index on Netsuke in the Archives of the British Museum Part A, Frederick Meinertzhagen (edited by George Lazarnick), New York, 1986, page 170.
This netsuke shows the popular Hotei, one of the Seven Lucky Gods, as always with naked chest and belly, bald head and bright laugh, with his heavy bag containing treasure (takaramono) on his back. A masterfully dense composition, very lively and many precisely executed details, like Hotei’s expression and the garment and sack folds. Hotei is carrying a hyotan on his belt, containing the elixir of life (or sake). Small himotoshi on the side through the bag, above the minutely incised signature MEIKEISAI HOJITSU, possibly the most eminent netsuke carver in Tokyo, who died in 1872.
HEIGHT 4 CM
Condition: Excellent condition
Provenance: The 40-Year Collection of a London Gentleman