Late eighteenth century saishiki carved wood netsuke




Late eighteenth century saishiki carved wood netsuke.

   This particularly fine netsuke was carved in Japan at the end of the eighteenth century by Nagamachi Shuzan. It is of a form known as saishiki, decorated with paint, much of which survives on this example. This netsuke shows Kikujido holding chrysanthemums. According to legend, Kikujido was a favourite of the Emperor. One day, his foot damaged the Emperor's bed, so the Emperor condemned him to exile. Kikujido left and settled in a valley full of chrysanthemums and spent the rest of his days writing the secret of a long and healthy life on the petals of the flowers.

   Nagamachi Shuzan was from Osaka and considered himself successor to Yoshimura Shuzan. Although he also worked in ivory, it is for his distinctive style in wood carving that he is best known.

   This fine late eighteenth century saishiki netsuke stands 5cm high, is 2.4cm at its widest point and 1.9cm at its deepest. (Measurements approximate). It is in excellent condition, showing wear appropriate to its age. It has no damage and no restoration. It is signed by the carver.