A rare recumbent ox in ebony with various inlays by Masayoshi. A content looking seated ox, his backbone and hips prominent and face beautifully rendered, his horns inlaid in stag antler. The double-inlaid eyes bestow a calm and gentle look on the animal and to the recesses, delicately incised hair work. The underside is very well rendered with strong, well-proportioned limbs and a pleasing line to the neck, the hairwork more visible to the base. In my opinion, the lack of hairwork to the body is not due to use; I believe that Masayoshi intended for the body to be smooth and the hairwork has been applied to accentuate the curves and lines of the netsuke. The himotoshi is formed by two equal-sized holes to the base.
Signed – Masayoshi, Echigo
1820 – 1840
Length – 5.5cm
Width – 3.1cm
Height – 2.2cm
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