Wood netsuke by Rantei are considerably rare, as he was known to mostly work in ivory. The present netsuke is a fine example by the Kyoto netsukeshi who was best known for his carvings of animals. Note particularly the crisply carved paws, fine hairwork with incised stripes, and above all the amusing expression as the tiger looks upwards somewhat fearfully. Inlaid pupils and signature on the underside RANTEI 蘭亭. Beautiful patina, especially to the underside.
HEIGHT 2.7, LENGTH 4 cm
Condition: Good condition. One inlaid pupil is lost and replaced. The position of the tail is odd; however, no damage is visible.
Provenance: Purchased from Christie’s London, 28 May 1980, lot 68.
Auction comparison: For another wood netsuke by Rantei, see Bonhams, The Julius and Arlette Katchen Collection of Fine Netsuke Part II, 10 May 2017, lot 105.