Garaku signed ivory netsuke

Garaku ivory netsuke

Osaka, 19th century

monkey and octopus

height 1 5/8 in., 4.2 cm

the monkey perched on an outcropping rock holding the tentacles of a small octopus which clings to the side, finely carved with delicate hairwork, the outer rings of the ivory well-utilized to give the back of the monkey distinctive coloring; signed on underside, Garaku

This netsuke references a legend in which the octopus-physician to Ryujin, the Dragon King of the Sea, prescribes a monkey's liver to heal the King's daughter, but the monkey outwits a jellyfish sent to capture him. In this carving the monkey, with a very human-like bemused expression, seems to have the situation well in hand. There seems to be little danger that the octopus will have any success in securing his prey.

Published:
Scholten Japanese Art Exhibition Catalogue 2000, New York, September 2000, no. 27

NFS

kikumon

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site last updated
July 31, 2020

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475