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Grinning Monkey with Tortoise

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Otohime
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Grinning Monkey with Tortoise

Postby Otohime » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:02 pm

Hello,

Since I have no clue (and to save myself from any embarrassment ...), I have posted my 'Grinning Monkey with tortoise" in the Modern Tourist Souvenir Netsuke & Netsuke-like Objects section. It's clear to me that this figure is not a top notch museum piece. I still hope you still find it of some interest and shine some light on this little figure. I found it intriguing (I wanted to know the story behind it) and it made me smile. The monkey has quite the expression and it's back demants petting. I hope it brings me good luck.

Monkey with tortoise (8).JPG


- Measurements of the figure: 5 cm long, 3,5 cm wide and 3,6 cm tall (1.9 inch x 1.3 inch x 1.4 inch)
- It does not have himotoshi
- It is not signed (I think this is a good thing), is does seem to have some glue leftovers from a sticker (bad thing) and other glue stains.
- It has no inlayed eyes
- It's damaged: it's right ear has broken off, toes and hands (carving failures) and it contains some pinpricks (some due to the material?)
- Material: Bone? I think the carving is too rough and not 'perfect' enough to be plastic.
It looks pretty worn, but it also can be dirty. It looks like some laquer/varnish (to preserve? or to look like Ivory) has been applied
The tortoise appears to have much more detail than the monkey


Questions I have:
    Is it Japanese?
    Can it be considered a Netsuke due to its size although it does not have himotoshi?
    Which tale / saga is depicted? If it's the story of the sea princess and the monkey liver, it seems the monkey should not be smiling. I don't get this story.
    Is it old? If it is from what period?
    What style / school would it (try to) resamble?
    Should I try to remove the varnish?
    and every other information you will provide.

More pictures of different angles for the persons who have not been put off by the first picture:

Right side:
Monkey with tortoise (11).JPG

Left side:
Monkey with tortoise (9).JPG

Backside:
Monkey with tortoise (5).JPG

Bottom:
Monkey with tortoise (1).JPG


Please excuse my faulty English since it is not my native language and thank you for taking time to read and hopefully reply to this post.

Leonie
Leonie

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AFNetsuke
Posts: 6246
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:14 am
Location: Central California coast, USA

Re: Grinning Monkey with Tortoise

Postby AFNetsuke » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:04 pm

Leonie, all great questions to ask about an authentic Japanese netsuke but unfortunately this is not.
It appears to be a modern molded resin little curio. The bottom shows some pock marks from the molding process and coarse file marks to level the botttom to sit flat on a shelf.
Sorry for the bad news. You asked great questions and could likely pick up netsuke knowledge quickly should you wish to pursue this field of collecting.
Alan

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Otohime
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:41 pm

Re: Grinning Monkey with Tortoise

Postby Otohime » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:39 pm

Hi Alan,

Thank you for your kind response. One of the reasons I dared to post my resin little curio, is that the overall responses to Fake/NLO's on the forum are not to redicule but to motivate people to learn more about Netsuke. I realy like to learn more. I failed miserably on the little quizz (which I enjoyed) on this forum. Best advice I read several times on the forum: best to start a Netsuke book collection and learn before collecting Netsuke. It's a bit disappointing that the figure is resin, I would expect a smoother figurine, so I now learnt that it's even a badly made resin figure :D .

The figure still fulfill's it's duty: It still makes me smile.
Leonie

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AFNetsuke
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Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:14 am
Location: Central California coast, USA

Re: Grinning Monkey with Tortoise

Postby AFNetsuke » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:54 am

Leonie, at least you have a good attitude about finding the truth. If you do a Search for monkeys using the forum's Search tab you should find many authentic monkey netsuke that will bring a smile to your face. Here is a pair that are a hundred years or so older than your piece. Note there are no drilled himotoshi but it has "natural himotoshi" provided by the space between leg and body. I think it is humorus in that the big guy is trying to steal the little ones chestnut. Look at their expressions.
20180301_164327.jpg

20180301_164348.jpg
Alan

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Otohime
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:41 pm

Re: Grinning Monkey with Tortoise

Postby Otohime » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:49 am

Yessss, you pinpointed exactly my interests with this beautifull example. I also like the fact that the himotoshi are integrated in the design.
I think each collector has it's own motivation for starting a collection or adding a specific netsuke to their collection. My theme/criteria would be: Animals, lots of expression, humorous, a story behind it and (may sound strange) inviting to touch. I have no idea if these criteria are realistic to persue.

Maybe I should open a seperate topic on this, because my monkey might scare people away. I will keep the monkey on as avatar (it deserves this honour) since it triggered my interest in netsuke and my visit to this forum.

You can put a lock this topic if you like.

Leonie
Leonie

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AFNetsuke
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Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:14 am
Location: Central California coast, USA

Re: Grinning Monkey with Tortoise

Postby AFNetsuke » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:29 pm

Leonie, the monkey I posted by Masatami is not "inviting to touch" but there are plenty of authentic netsuke which are fairly simple and humorous and can be had for a reasonable price. The tactile quality of netsuke is frequently noted by collectors as a undesirable feature and should not be hard for you to find along with the other attributes you want.
Good luck seeking them out!
Alan


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