Worcester Antiques
Antiques & 20th Century Collectables

Japanese Antique Netsuke Toad

Figurine of Frog, Toad, Gama 蝦蟇 根付


Meiji Period Carved Netsuke, unsigned

Finely carved antique netsuke, unsigned genuine Meiji period tsuge (boxwood) katabori netsuke with provenance. Of an extraordinarily unique design not seen before; an elderly toad or ‘gama’ standing robed in a Japanese Kimono and Obi resting on a cane held in his right hand. With a subtle sense of movement and a satisfying feel in ones hand the netsuke-shi has created a charming and amusing netsuke.

The elegant carving reveals the toad's weight and balance placed over the walking cane and resultant matured hunch. Standing 2 ¼ inches high the intricate netsuke is carved from a single piece of light tsuge boxwood with applied stain and eyes inlaid in a carved dark cow horn.

Antique Japanese Netsuke figure in form of toad or frog carved from tsuge boxwood with applied stain possibly yasha and eyes inlaid with carved black cow horn
Toad (Gama) Meiji period Netsuke, unsigned.
2 ¼ inches high, tsuge boxwood with applied stain.

During the Meiji restoration period, the netsuke’s original definition of a functional accessory to the traditional Japanese Kimono became less applicable as the western dress was quickly adopted. The netsuke’s form and himotoshi design, with one larger hole, was no longer required to hide the knot or be shaped in such a way the cord originating from the ojime and sagemono (or inro) could be freely threaded and the netsuke tucked above the obi. This resulted in elevating the carving of the netsuke to a solely fine art form of immense artistic merit and many fine netsukes, such as this one, were carved during the Meiji period.

Condition

Superb condition and with such tactility the netsuke has benefited from the formation of a rich age and handling patina with commensurate smoothing.

Price £420 + p&p

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Toad Netsuke in form of standing human toad dressed in kimono and obi with walking cane

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Antique Japanese Netsuke figure in form of toad or frog carved from tsuge boxwood with applied stain possibly yasha and eyes inlaid with carved black cow horn Japanese Antique Toad Netsuke standing against AA battery to show sense of scale and detail Boxwood finely carved japanese netsuke showing crevices of kimono well carved hands and face of frog rear of gama netsuke showing both himotoshi holes and rich patina of stained boxwood rear of human standing antique toad japanese netsuke, well carved kimono and obi showing inside himotoshi holes and rich patina of stained boxwood carved face of toad netsuke with left hand placed over inro, showing the intricate carving of the walking stick and hollowed out areas under the kimono Netsuke with rich patina on boxwood and carved inlaid eyes, details of the japanese kimono with creased and folded sleeves and obi sash, carved feet and texture to toads face underside of netsuke showing toads carved feet, carved cane and curved edge of the carved kimono all in stained boxwood japanese antique meiji netsuke of toad held in hand showing scale and quality of carving and detail and colour of stained boxwood

Provenance

From the private collection of the late Dermot Levins; accomplished oriental collector, the majority of whose collection was procured from distinguished London galleries and auction houses during the mid-twentieth century. Those of particular note: