A bold wood netsuke bearing a lovely rich patina, depicting a Hawk, the bird perched on an awabi shell with wings fully extended. Through a small opening the bird is feeding on the flesh of the Hamaguri shell, which is balanced by the bird’s wings and the awabi. A most unusual design, clever in its construction as each part assists the other in forming a strong functional composition.
This netsuke has been previously attributed to the studio of Okatomo, Kyoto. When one looks at the feathers and compares to Ivory studies of the Quale’s feeding on millet from the same studio there is a strong similarity.
Last half of the 18th Century.
Private English collection, Bedfordshire
Neil Holton Japanese Art
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