Kihodo Masaka ivory netsuke

Osaka, late 19th century

ivory rats on candle

length 1 7/8 in., 4.7 cm

an adult rat eases its body around a large candle stump as its young approaches from the other side, its body spread wide as it grips the smooth wax surface, one forepaw resting on that of its parent, melted wax drips from the burnt end of the candle, signs of rats' teeth marks on its surface, the adult's eyes are inlaid in dark horn, the young one's in pale horn; signed Masako to

Expressions of Style: Netsuke as Art, Scholten Japanese Art, New York, August 2001, no. 142


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