A fine and naturalistic ivory netsuke of a recumbent rat with its tail curling around and up its back. The rat or nezumi has a pointed snout, large inlaid eyes of black horn and attentively curved ears. The hairwork is incised masterfully and characteristically worn. The rat is holding a node of bamboo between three of its paws, which it fiercely claims for itself. The underside with himotoshi and signature in a rectangular reserve SADAYOSHI 定由. The artist is known for his naturalistic and bold carvings of animals.
HEIGHT 2.2 cm, LENGTH 4.6 cm
Condition: Good condition, very appealing patina on the underside, one small crack to the tail and a very minute old chip to the edge of one ear.
Provenance: British private collection with two valuations from Sotheby’s, by Neil K. Davey, dated 1974 & 1984, inventory no. 51.
Literature comparison: Compare to a similar netsuke of two rats by Sadayoshi illustrated in International Netsuke Society Journal, 24/3, page 11.