18th Century netsuke depicting a Dutchman with shunga undertones.
A medium sized figure of a Dutchman holding his hat with one hand and a large Gūnbai "military fan" in the other. Dressed in a traditional long coat with a ruffled choler. He has been depicted with the typical larger than life hair curls and facial features, beautifully highlighted with sumi ink.
The way he holds his hat combined with the bend in his body gives the impression he has just been surprised by a gust of wind. Particularly pleasing about this Netsuke, are the gentle ruffles and folds applied to the back and sides of his coat giving the Netsuke a fantastic sense of movement.
I believe that this netsuke has shunga undertones. Looking at the placement of the Gunbai coupled with the shape of the carving and placement of the nerve channel in his hat does give this Dutchman a rather phallic shape and look…..
Even with the bend in his body he happily stands un aided.
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