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Lot n° 449

A FINE NAGOYA SCHOOL WOOD SASHI NETSUKE OF RATS...

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A FINE NAGOYA SCHOOL WOOD SASHI NETSUKE OF RATS EATING A LOOFAH GOURD, ATTRIBUTED TO ITTOKUSAI Attributed to Ittokusai, unsigned Japan, Nagoya, 19th century The elongated gourd finely carved with two rats, one having burrowed into the rotted interior at the base of the vegetable, looking up toward the second rodent which rests near the stem. Still attached to the twisted vine, the leaves of the gourd plant are naturalistically carved with small hollows imitating insect activity. The eyes of the rats are inlaid in dark wood. The cord attachment through the looped stem. HEIGHT 18.7 cm Condition: Good condition with minor wear, small restoration to the tip of the nose and left ear of the top rat, and a minor repair to the stem. Literature comparison: Compare a related wood sashi netsuke of a wasp eating a rotten cucumber, signed Ittokusai, dated early 19th century, illustrated in Earle, Joe (2001) Netsuke: Fantasy and Reality in Japanese Miniature Sculpture, p. 228, no. 192. Auction comparison: Compare a related wood sashi netsuke of a wasp in a loofah gourd, signed Kogetsu, dated early 19th century, at Bonhams, Fine Netsuke from a French Private Collection, 4 November 2020, London, lot 133 (sold for GBP 9,437).