A very well toned ivory netsuke, a pair of chubby pups roll and play. The smaller is laid on his back with the larger pup laying across his belly, pinning him. The smaller pup reaches back to give his playmate a nip, and the larger pup’s foot is raised against the neck of the smaller, poised to push him away. The pups’ bodies are chubby and plump, their faces gentle and full of life. The hairwork is worn in places but the whiskers to the inside protected areas are visible and formed of strong bold strokes. The underside reveals both the sumptuous colour of the ivory and also the excellent openwork, the space between the pups is fully excavated and the arm of the smaller pup is visible within, along with the well-preserved hairwork. The himotoshi is formed of one large and a smaller circular hole.
Bonhams, London – Fine Japanese Art – lot 100 16 May 2013
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