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    Sale 7582

    Japanese Art and Design

    14 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 138

    A WOOD NETSUKE

    SIGNED SHUGETSU, EDO PERIOD (18TH CENTURY)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A WOOD NETSUKE
    SIGNED SHUGETSU, EDO PERIOD (18TH CENTURY)
    A foreign egg tester holding an ivory egg to his eye
    6.5cm. high


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    For a discussion of the subject of this netsuke, see Joe Earle, Netsuke: Fantasy and Reality in Japanese Miniature Sculpture, (Boston, 2001), pl.158, p.196 where he states:

    "For about a century, this well-known subject has been described within the non-Japanese collecting tradition as an 'egg tester' or even a 'professional egg tester', but no evidence ever has been produced for the existence of such an occupation in Japan during the Edo period. It may be that a documentary explanation will come to light one day, but for the time being, the large number of extant examples probably are better interpreted as evidence that this is a case of a successful single image being copied repeatedly from a printed model or from a netsuke original. Contrary to widespread, traditional Western belief, the majority of netsuke, including early netsuke, are copies of other netsuke rather than scenes observed directly from everyday life.

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