An idiosyncratic and popular model by Ikkosai depicting a male monkey picking fleas of his sleeping young which he holds firmly against his body. The expression of the sleeping young monkey is serene, while the expression of the father is focused, as he holds up a flea he has just picked off his offspring. The details of the carving are incredibly refined – note the curvature of the body and the naturalism in the carving of the hands and feet. Natural himotoshi and signature in a polished reserve IKKOSAI 一光齋.
HEIGHT 3.1 cm
Provenance: British private collection.
Condition: Some expected horizontal age cracks, the stained ivory is slightly worn. Generally, in very good and complete condition
Auction comparison: Compare to a similar netsuke sold at Bonhams, The Julius and Arlette Katchen Collection of Fine Netsuke Part I, London, 8 November 2016, lot 101.