A smooth and tactile seated tiger, head turned back licking its paw, in prunus wood with inlays to the eyes and teeth.
The tiger’s body is left smooth other than the faint remnants of black stain/ inking to the back marking the animal’s stripes. Instead of incised hairwork I believe the grain of the wood has been used to simulate the hair. When looking at the tiger’s head and the line carved down the middle, the grain rolls off each side of the line. The strong grain of the wood that covers the rest of the body appears to give the same hair-like effect. The himotoshi formed by a natural opening between the animal’s body and tail.
The tiger was acquired by its current owner in the late ‘70s from Eskenazi London. At that time, they were very confident that the tiger was from the hand of Miwa I. The current owner and I are not so sure it is quite old enough to date from the lifetime of Miwa I and is probably closer to the turn of the century.
Signed, Miwa, with a kao
Length: 4.5cm Height: 3.1cm Width: 3cm
Provenance: Eskenazi, Netsuke from Private collection 1979 number 9
Christies 9th October 1973 lot 41
W.L. Behrens Collection: Part I Netsuke 1912 number 2672
Ex-Walter L. Behrens
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