Netsuke old man sitting with a basket

Remarkable wooden netsuke of a smiling old man, sitting on a tree stump with a basket in his hands. On the basket, decoration of ivory and horn cherry blossom buds (sakura) inlaid. The sculptor has made very fine details of his half-open smiling eyes, his hair and his teeth.

Signed Gyokkei (玉珪) in a rectangual inlaid ivory cartouche.

The British Museum holds four netsuke by the sculptor :

  • Woman washing clothes, F. 162
  • Man with wen in eye, lifting stone, F.159
  • Smiling mask, 1986,0716.1
  • Mask of a demon, F. 354

Slightly split at the basket and the tree stump.

Japon – Edo period (1603-1868), ca. late 18th century

Height: 1.4 in. (3.5 cm) – width : 1.6 in. (4 cm) – depth: 1.6 in. (4 cm)