A well-rounded netsuke depicting a recumbent ox, signed Masamitsu. The artist is recorded as a pupil of and was later adopted by, Yoshimasa Ishikura. Yoshimasa hails from the Echigo province and is well known for his dramatic shishi groups. There are two netsuke recorded in Lazernick NIA under Masamitsu, one an almost identical ox with a signature that leaves little doubt that they are from the same hand as the netsuke we offer. The other, a dog, is clearly from a different hand to the ox. Neither netsuke seem to have any traits that indicate tutelage under Yoshimasa. When one examines the hooves, fore legs, and the shape of the body and hair work of both ox, the style is much more reminiscent of the Nagoya school carvers who worked during the second half of the 19th Century, emulating Ikkan. Further, when compared to a Kirin-signed Masamitsu from the Kolodotschko collection sold at Lempertz (lot 90 - 14.06.2014), the link to the Ikkan line of carvers becomes even more compelling.
Second half of the 19th Century
Signed: Masamitsu, Nagoya
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