14 November 2001
A Wood Netsuke
Unsigned, Edo Period (Late 18th/Early 19th Century)
Katabori, stained boxwood; a superbly composed model of a cat on a dried salmon, crouching down on its chest and front legs with its right claw tearing at the fish's left eye-socket, the cat's eyes inlaid, the polished surface of its body contrasting with the crisply carved scales of the salmon, the himotoshi formed by two almost equal sized holes underneath
7/8 x 4 3/8in. (2.2 x 11.1cm.)
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Bernard Hurtig, Masterpieces of Netsuke Art: One Thousand Favorites of Leading Collectors (Tokyo and New York: John Weatherhill, 1973), no. 682.
This is a model that was later recorded, in two different versions, by the Osaka carver Ohara Mitsuhiro in his Takarabukuro [Treasure Bag].1
1 Misao Mikoshiba (trans.), Takarabukuro (Treasure Bag) (Chicago: Art Media Resources, 2001), nos. 62, 72.
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