The cockerel or rooster (tori) sits proudly, its head turned backwards, with finely carved plumage and long elegant tail feathers. The ivory shows a superb patina all over. The feathery bird has inlaid eyes of dark horn. The underside shows the asymmetrical himotoshi, the tucked in feet and the signature inside a rectangular reserve OKAKOTO 岡言.
HEIGHT 4 cm, LENGTH 4.5 cm
Condition: Good condition with minor wear to the incised breast feathers and a very tiny, almost unnoticeable chip to the edge of the bird’s crest.
Provenance: French private collection.
Yamaguchi Okakoto, pupil and younger brother of Yamaguchi Okatomo, was a brilliant carver and excelled at carvings of animals. His work is considerably more rare than those of other members of the Oka- school. The present piece appears to be the only netsuke of a cockerel recorded by Okakoto, though a couple are recorded by his elder brother Okatomo.
Auction comparison: Compare to a cockerel by Okatomo, sold at Bonhams, Netsuke from a European Collection, 8 May 2016, London, lot 38.