Rare mid nineteenth century ivory netsuke. Dried salmon.



Rare mid nineteenth century ivory netsuke showing dried salmon.

Dried salmon, or shizake, was often served with sake. This extremely rare hand carved ivory netsuke was produced in Japan in the mid part of the nineteenth century. It is highly detailed and represents the new interest of netsuke carvers of the late Edo Period in producing carvings of day to day items from direct observation. The himotoshi are provided by one obvious hole for the cord that then feeds through the body of the fish, emerging from its insides where it has been cut in half. (See page 102 "The netsuke handbook of Ueda Reikichi" 1961 for similar example).

This fine Edo Period hand carved ivory netsuke is likely to be Kyoto School. It is 6cm long, 3cm wide and 1cm deep. (Measurements approximate). It is unclear whether the apparent "worm" holes appeared after the item was carved or are an inherant part of its artistry. Either way they enhance the look of realism sought by the carver. This item has no repair or restoration and shows wear appropriate to its age.