This netsuke shows a popular theme, adopted from China, and used for some of the earliest Japanese netsuke which derived from Chinese toggles. The next catalog no. 24 shows the same motif, though slightly later and smaller. The present netsuke shows a very deep patina, several age cracks and large and well hollowed-out himotoshi, the
edges smoothed from wear. Depicted are two Chinese boys, their facial expressions executed very much in the style of the Ming-dynasty, dressed in Chinese robes and holding a fan together above a tied sack – an allusion to the lucky deity Hotei (in Chinese Budai).
HEIGHT 3.5, LENGTH 4.6 CM
Condition: Worn condition, very appealing patina, age cracks and the fan is slightly chipped
Provenance: Austrian private collection