An unusual ivory netsuke, minutely carved and depicting an amusing scene of a fully-clothed oni trying to lift the tea-kettle shell off a kappa, next to a gesticulating monk. The tea-kettle probably references the legend of the Bunbuku Chagama, where a tanuki transforms into a kettle. The details of this small and fragile carving are incredibly precise. All set on a stippled and thin base. And singular himotoshi on the underside as well as the signature TENMIN 天民 in a jar shaped reserve.
HEIGHT 2.6 cm
Provenance: British private collection.
Condition: Excellent condition.
Auction comparison: A very similar netsuke certainly by the same hand/workshop signed Haru-Ha in the same jar-shaped reserve was sold at Zacke, Fine Netsuke, Sagemono & Okimono, November 24th 2018, Vienna, lot 135.