Rare carved tanto or Kogotana netsuke. Transitional Period by Masanao.




A rare boxwood tanto. Transitional Period by Masanao. Yamada Ise.      

This superb and extremely rare item was produced in Japan in the Transitional Period, Edo to Meiji, in the mid part of the nineteenth century. It was carved by an Artist who had an outstanding reputation in his own lifetime, Masanao of Yamada, whose intricately and beautifully carved netsuke command extremely high prices and have been much sought after since the time of their production. The case for this tanto is carved in the form of a Dragon travelling through a cloud bank, the details boldly modelled and the eyes inlaid in ebony. A himotoshi formed by the arm of the Dragon suggests this was used as a kogotana, or knife netsuke. (Hence its listing under various headings). The carving is signed Masanao.

   Tis wonderful and extremely rare work of Art is 23 cm long, 3 cm wide and 1.5 cm deep.(Measurements approximate). It is in excellent condition, with light wear and cracking appropriate to its age and substance. It has a fine colour and patination and no restoration.