Netsuke - Toad and Young
Netsuke - Toad and Young
Netsuke - Toad and Young

Netsuke - Toad and Young

A wide toad with two young, by Tametaka. The mother toad sits with one of her little toads safely on her back and the other still making the ascent. The surface of the wood is worn and a sumptuous patina has formed. The bumps of the mother toad’s skin run over her head onto the back, her bulbous flanks bulging and smooth. Her face and front legs are exceptionally rendered. The eyes of the large toad are double-inlaid, the dark pupils rimmed with metal. Both the young toads’ eyes are inlaid with tiny dark dots. The underside is again simple but beautiful, with rolls of fat that define the mother toad’s neck from the rest of the body, the rear feet curled inwards towards the cavernous himotoshi formed from one large oval and one smaller vertical oval.

Although worn, the netsuke is full of feeling. I’m not sure it’s an accepted way to describe a netsuke but when I look at this piece, the surface appears almost like melted chocolate, in the most pleasing way. Although early, it is my opinion that the wear and its current appearance, for the most part, is the way Tametaka intended it to look.

Circa 1780

Signed, Tametaka

4.8cm long

4.3cm wide

2.8cm tall

Ex-Teddy Hann collection 

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