Netsuke - Seated Daruma
Netsuke - Seated Daruma
Netsuke - Seated Daruma

Netsuke - Seated Daruma


A wood netsuke depicting a seated daruma, by Hara Shumin. The wood is lightly stained with inked hair covering the daruma’s face and chest, the chest also bearing Shumin’s hallmark giant nipples. The folds of the daruma’s robe are defined with perfectly carved lines that outline each fold. To the bottom, the himotoshi is formed from one very large oval and one small circular hole, both ringed and stained green.

I’m a big fan of the Shumin carvers; their chosen subject matter is by no means original, but their take adds a sense of humour and personality. One netsuke that always springs to mind is a resting duck that sold at Bonhams on 8th May 2016, lot 42 – a common enough subject, but the face conveys a cartoonish rage with its comical beak and eyes, while the rest of the body conforms to the norm. When I look at this daruma, I see bags of personality in the face – it’s subtle and not as obvious as the resting duck, but still there.

Circa 1840

Signed, Shumin

4.1cm tall

4.2cm wide

2.9cm deep

Similar examples:

MCI – Several pictured with line drawings attributed to both Shumin I & II – pages 775, 777

Victoria and Albert Museum accession number CIRC.27-1918

Barry Davies, Netsuke from The Teddy Hann Collection, 1996 - Number 31


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