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A Pesky Rabbit

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Curt
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:26 pm

A Pesky Rabbit

Postby Curt » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:15 am

Hi gang, here I am again - with another piece I'm not sure about, it could be an NLO or it could be a OLO, or, as it appears to me to be a rabbit on a table. :) This piece looks like an older carving from horn material. The carving detail on the table looks very good, but the single himatoshi is a puzzle - the hole looks like it was formed using something other than a modern drill bit. I suppose that it could be an okimono that was gifted a hole to make it into a more desirable netsuke. The front of the table does have an indentation that looks like a flaw in the horn or an abraded or worn area, but it is smooth. As usual, I have no clue and this one was the first thing I grabbed from my stash of questionable netsuke. You have to admit, he's charming for a rabbit. The grid is 1/4" (0.635 cm) squares.

Purchase date June 1997: Entry reads" Charming antique carved stag antler netsuke of a rabbit seated on a table, 19th century. (Give or take 200 years) I added the last part. :)
Attachments
N18F.jpg
N18R.jpg
N18B.jpg
IMG_5910.jpg
IMG_5913.JPG

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chonchon
Posts: 6599
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:16 am
Location: Japan

Re: A Pesky Rabbit

Postby chonchon » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:29 am

Personally I like it, but this is not the kind of thing that generally excites people in the West. Although I have two of these they are missing an animal on top. I envy you the rabbit! As with yours, there is only one hole, but that is normal in this type of Netsuke. The string can be knotted inside so as not to pull out, or it can be further fixed in a number of other ways. Datewise, it is difficult to say. Many take on a translucency with age, but some which may have been kept in a drawer somewhere do not, making it difficult to date stag antler. (Not really horn).

Both the rabbit and the plate in the base look to have been added later, so it is a sort of composite Netsuke, which works well as an okimono too. The Chinese-style table/base gives it a classical look and harks back to some of the seals in the Soken Kisho.
Last edited by chonchon on Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Piers

Size is something.

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souldeep
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Re: A Pesky Rabbit

Postby souldeep » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:08 am

I agree with Piers. This is a sweet, honest stag carving. The piece has a charm about it.

Piers has better eyes than I, though. I cannot make out how the base is attached to the feet of the table. Even with the hare on top, I can only make out one possible section of join line, in one photo, on the back side of the hare.

There are colouration differences between different parts of the carving. That might be one identifying factor.

Another factor that I observe, is that the top of the hare is plugged. Follow that down and there is no evidence of the trebecular in the base. Evidence alone? It might depend on where this was taken from in the stag antler.

Piers, if you have the time, would you help me observe any obvious join points in a few enlargements of the photos?
Last edited by souldeep on Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Spelling correction
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

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chonchon
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Location: Japan

Re: A Pesky Rabbit

Postby chonchon » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:02 am

If you look inside the table, on the left side in pic 2, down between the table legs, you can see a neat circular edge following the rim of the flat bottom plug. Look for the change in dye colour. (Both of my Chinese stands by contrast are open at the bottom.)

If you follow the contour of the base plate/plug upwards you will see that the rabbit sits on exactly the same diameter of flat circular plate. Since the rabbit material appears to be a different texture/colour, and because the claws go down to the plate without scratching it or nicking it in any way, I wondered how you could carve down to such an acute angle like that. Much easier to make two plug plates, for top and bottom, and then fix a rabbit onto the top one. Having imagined such a construction, I worked back from there, although I agree Martyn that I cannot really see any join marks between the rabbit and its table-top plate. :D

PS Although looking again, I think we can see a line under its haunch in pic 2 above.
Last edited by chonchon on Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:13 am, edited 3 times in total.
Piers

Size is something.

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souldeep
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Re: A Pesky Rabbit

Postby souldeep » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:46 am

chonchon wrote:If you look inside the table, on the left side in pic 2, down between the table legs, you can see a neat circular edge following the rim of the flat bottom plug. Look for the change in dye colour. (Both of my Chinese stands by contrast are open at the bottom.)

I'm now in my office and have switched from phone screen to computer screen. Makes quite a difference! Yes, I see exactly where you are pointing out. That we can't see the plug from the underneath, makes it quite obvious the base is attached. Thanks for pointing this out.

chonchon wrote:PS Although looking again, I think we can see a line under its haunch in pic 2 above.

I believe we are referring to the same line I noted in my previous post, and yes, its located under the haunch.

Pretty neat join work though isn't it!
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

Curt
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:26 pm

Re: A Pesky Rabbit

Postby Curt » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:57 pm

Thanks Piers and Martyn for taking a look at this. Piers I knew in my art dealings the motif was not popular in the west, but wasn't sure about netsuke collectors. He's one of my favorites, nevertheless. I wondered about the form, as I didn't find any examples on line. I thought maybe it was carved in one piece with the bottom plugged and that caused the stress crack on the base. Looking up inside to the top of the table you can see the pith, which I assume is the bottom of the table top and the rabbit is attached to cover. I also thought this might be from the 1920's as stylized images in art were popular, like this Takeuchi Seiho wood block print from the 20's, but I also assume these stylized versions date back several centuries - but with my limited knowledge it's just a guess :) I thank you, and my Rabbit, Wilbur, thanks you too.
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japanese-woodblock-print-takeuchi-seiho-.jpg

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jbjtennyo
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Re: A Pesky Rabbit

Postby jbjtennyo » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:51 pm

Good morning, Curt,
Lots of comments already for you to dive into. I haven't read everything posted to this as I am short on time this morning. However I do want to say just simply, that this is a keeper in my book. A very nice early stag antler composition. I haven't looked at all the images at length, but if it does only have one hole, it might be what is called a chimney himotoshi- just a different style - If I were in a rush and ran across this little gem in an antique shop, I would have bought it in a hurry and checked it out later--It is a nice period piece.
Congrats!
Now, later when I have more time I will go back and have a closer look, but I can tell you that I was excited to see this piece in your collection! Bravo!
Judy

Curt
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:26 pm

Re: A Pesky Rabbit

Postby Curt » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:34 pm

jbjtennyo wrote:Now, later when I have more time I will go back and have a closer look, but I can tell you that I was excited to see this piece in your collection! Bravo!


Thank you Judy - you are so kind. I know you're rooting for me! :)
I am learning, and that is always a good thing. It's nice to know I have a couple of nice ones in the sea of stinkers.
I always appreciate your comments - good or bad.


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