Published: Barry Davies Oriental Art (1996) Netsuke Through Three Centuries, pp. 60f., no. 53.
Galerie Gemini / Ichimonji Art (2004) Galerie Gemini & Ichimonji Art present an Exhibition of Fine Netsuke and Inro, p. 28, no. 79.
Exhibited: Galerie Gemini & Ichimonji, Munich, Exhibition of Fine
Netsuke and Inro, 15 May – 29 May 2004.
Carved from an unusually pure section of bone, depicting a wolf or yama-inu (lit. wild dog), with its left front paw placed on a crab. The carving is strong with pronounced ribs and powerfully carved muscular limbs. The wolf has a long face with long laid-back ears, large inlaid eyes and an intense, voracious expression. The fangs of the hungry wolf are shown, unfortunately for the poor creature the crab is certainly no feast. The unique structure of the bone coupled with a strong patina give this netsuke a unique appeal. Natural himotoshi between the wolf’s two right paws and its tail which curls underneath its body to the side.
HEIGHT 3.8 cm, LENGTH 5.1 cm
Condition: Excellent condition with expected wear and natural miniscule crackling.
Provenance: Barry Davies, then Galerie Gemini & Ichimonji Art, then Luxembourg private collection.
In both publications this netsuke was erroneously described as ivory, which is testament to the unique purity of the bone, which is probably maritime.
Literature comparison: Compare the expression of the wolf to a netsuke by Rantei in Coullery, Marie-Thérèse / Newstead, Martin S. (1977) The Baur Collection, p. 338f., C1057.