Netsuke - Praying Mantis
Netsuke - Praying Mantis

Netsuke - Praying Mantis


A praying mantis (kamakiri) has alighted on a discarded wheel, the axle ring broken and vine leaves twining around the thick spokes. The shibuichi plate, with details in shakudo, gold and copper, is set in a bowl carved from a very attractive section of bamboo, one edge displaying a small dark section of the outer culm sheath. The himotoshi is banded in stag antler. The disk sits snugly into the bowl, a perfect fit.

The praying mantis is an emblem of courage and the design of the insect on a broken cartwheel alludes to a tale from Chinese legend where a mantis sees a prince’s carriage approaching and fearlessly attaches itself to the wheel. The prince’s aides explain that it is a creature of such courage that it will not retreat, even in the face of overwhelming force. The prince was so impressed by its valiance that he ordered the carriage to proceed no further, for fear of crushing the creature.


Circa 1870

3.8cm wide

1.3cm deep

If you are interested in purchasing this netsuke you can contact me via the details below.

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