16 June 1999
A FOUR-CASE LACQUER INRO AND A WOOD NETSUKE
The inro Signed Koma Yasunori saku with a Gold Inlaid Tablet Inscribed Kuzui, Edo Period (Mid 19th Century), The Netsuke Edo Period (19th Century)
Decorated in gold and silver lacquer and gold foil with gold, silver and shakudo inlay, depicting a sanbaso dancer leaping high in the air over stylised clouds and branches of pine, the reverse with the dancer's costume box and a folding fan, the interior nashiji, a small gold lacquer ojime and a wood netsuke of a sanbaso dancer with traces of gold lacquer
3in. (9.3cm.) high (2)
Lady Dodds Collection (inro)
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Eskenazi Limited, Japanese netsuke and inro from private collections, (London, 1975), cat. no. 22. (inro).
Metalwork by Hamano Kuzui (also called Noriyuki, 1771-1852) is often seen on 19th century netsuke. Yasunori is a little-known member of the Koma school; the Linden Museum in Stuttgart posseses an inro by him.
The inro and the netsuke both picture a sanbaso dancer wearing a tall hat with stripes symbolising the months over the black mask of an old man. The vigorous dance depicted here is associated with all the traditional forms of theatre: No and Kabuki as well as Bunraku puppets.
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