Japanese Netsuke, Unsigned (112766)

Currency:USD Category:Antiques / Asian Antiques - Japan Start Price:100.00 USD Estimated At:200.00 - 400.00 USD
Japanese Netsuke, Unsigned  (112766)
325.00USDto 8*************e+ (81.25) buyer's premium + applicable fees & taxes.
This item SOLD at 2020 Feb 14 @ 11:35UTC-8 : PST
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Netsuke are ornamental toggle-like pieces, made of a variety of materials but commonly of carved ivory for pieces over 100 years old. They were used to attach a medicine box, pipe, or tobacco pouch to the obi (sash) of a Japanese man’s traditional dress. Dating from the late 1500s, netsukes were an indispensable item of dress as well as being fine works of miniature art. Such objects have a long history reflecting the important aspects of Japanese folklore and life. Netsuke production was most popular during the Edo period in Japan, around 1615–1868.
The characters represented may be of a peasant man with a child on his shoulders or possibly mythological characters like Yokai and Oni identifiable by someone familiar with Japanese folklore.
We believe this piece is an antique, and may be an authentic netsuke, possibly as old as 1750. It is not likely that this piece was made after 1850. It is unsigned, which many pre-19th Century pieces are, as artists' marks only became the norm in the 1800s when netsuke grabbed the attention of Westerners, who believed signed pieces to be more desirable. The new popularity of these bobbles created a niche in the collectibles market, drastically increasing both demand and value. As the market grew, so did the production of fakes in foreign factories which capitalized on the increasing demand in the West with cheap knock-offs that were easily sold as originals to inexperienced collectors by forging the mark of a well-known artist. As a result, the Western marketplace became saturated with Japanese "art" mass produced in places such as Korea or Hong Kong. The standardization of trademarks on imported goods was addressed in the 1891 U.S. McKinley Tariff Act that required all imports to be clearly identified by a mark specific to the country of origin. "Nippon" became the official mark of Japanese exports until 1921, when JAPAN, replaced it and eventually MADE IN JAPAN. Theoretically, unmarked, unsigned ivory netsuke from Japan must be pre-1891 and is likely to be early 1800 or older.
This piece appears to us to be authentic ivory due to the presence of uneven, natural looking grain, Schreger lines and hand tool marks. The has the look of a very old piece, due to the yellowing, the rub, and what look like natural cracks on the back that originate from the unevenly sized string holes and run in line with the grain. On the front of the piece, near the waist of the figure, is what appears to be a single blackened pin prick mark that most likely resulted from a hot pin test to authenticate the ivory. The tiny prick hole is black and no melting is visible. The piece does not fluoresce blue under black light. The yellowing does not fluoresce as it will on some artificially aged pieces, but that is not a guarantee that this piece is as old as it appears to be. Approximately 55mm x 25mm
Japanese artifacts/antiquities are a favorite for reproduction and due to the volume of counterfeiting techniques and the level of skill employed by knock off artists, all interested buyers are encouraged to make their own inspection prior to bidding.
This particular piece was acquired as part of an estate and is believed to have been part of the same family's collection for over 50 years. HWAC does not guarantee authenticity and has provided an accurate and full description to the best of our ability. Every item we sell is available for live preview 2-3 days prior to the auction or by appointment.

Country (if not USA): Japan