Published: Barry Davies, 100 Selected Pieces from The Netsuke Collection of Scott Meredith, no. 108.
This piece is large for a netsuke, most of its size is due to the trumpet conch (horagai), with the hero Benkei as a small figure on top. The structure of the conch is executed very well and the tiny eyes and the characteristic tokin cap of Benkei are inlaid in dark horn. The hero’s robe is inlaid with two ivory buttons in the back. Benkei was a Yamabushi, a warrior monk, whose symbol was the horagai. He was one of the most famous heroes during the 12th century, he would lurk on the Gojo bridge in Kyoto at night and would take the swords off of samurai returning home. At the same spot he also met the historical hero Yoshitsune, who defeated him and whose loyal follower he then became. Good and large himotoshi through the inside and outside of the conch.
LENGTH 8.7 CM
Condition: Very good condition with an appealing patina
Provenance: European private collection