Posted 5 months ago
Shishi (aka., foo dogs) were a popular subject among the Japanese, and often one will find older netsuke with groups of multiple shishi playing or a parent and child shishi. This example depicts the latter. The netsuke is carved such that the himotoshi (i.e., the hole through which a string is passed allowing the netsuke to be fastened to an inro) is centrally located and integrated into the overall design, as opposed to most netsuke which will have two distinct circular holes in the rear or bottom of the piece. Signed "Gyokuseki" underneath, the literal translation of which would be something like, "carver of gems and stones." Gyokuseki is a listed signature in well-regarded netsuke reference books, but it is unclear if this signature was indicative of a single individual or a Meiji era school of carving. Dimensions: 1.63"(W) x 0.63"(H).