A stag antler manju-style netsuke depicting Raiden, the surface a fantastic dark caramel colour. Raiden holds a drumstick in one hand and a large drum sits snugly under his arm, surrounded by swirls of clouds. The design is carved in low relief with the dark crevasses adding to the sense of the storm he is in the midst of creating. To the rear, several drums are carved amongst the clouds, with the himotoshi formed by a section of the central cloud.
The subject and interesting colour of this netsuke are very similar to signed examples from the Asakusa carver, Hoshino Hakusai. In the excellent recent publication on the artist by Yukari Yoshida and Gabor Wilhelm, the authors discuss a netsuke of the same subject by Hakusai and highlight the “toasted aspect, which seems to be one of the hallmarks of this talented Asakusa carver”.
Unsigned, attributed to Hoshino Hakusai
Hoshino Hakusai, A Rare Asakusa Netsuke Carver, Sagemonoya, Yukari Yoshida and Gabor Wilhelm.
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