An amusing netsuke of Fukusuke. Standing holding a fan, his head and ears are massively out of proportion to his small body, making for a humorous composition. The body is inlaid with ivory dots and the himotoshi ringed with black-stained ivory.
Kokeisai Sansho was a celebrated carver of the Meiji period. Producing both figures and masks, he worked in a distinctive and recognisable style leaving behind a large body of work, both signed and unsigned.
When one looks at the figures produced by Sansho, there is a distinct group typically rendered with Sansho’s trademark expressive faces and comparatively simplified bodies, as we see in the example I offer. For a similar subject and style, see MCI page 700, a Fukusuke holding an Okame mask, signed Sansho.
Unsigned, attributed to Kokeisai Sansho, Osaka (1871–1926)
Old accession number inked to the base A 3680-476
Similar examples in this style:
Bonhams London, 12th November 2015 – Fine Japanese Art – lot 27.
Christie’s London, 12th May 2010 - Japanese Art and Design – lot 219.
(MCI) The Meinertzhagen Card Index on Netsuke in the Archives of the British Museum page 700 and published in the Behrens Catalogue, number 3781.
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