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Three in a Leaf

Not sure what you have? Here you can post your piece and discover its period, context and authenticity.
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Re: Three in a Leaf

Postby Curt » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:11 pm

chonchon wrote:Rub-a-dub-dub,
Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker...

Oh, my - it looks like my little netsuke trio and I have stumbled into the INS online Christmas party. There's Alan over there, with the magnifying glass. Oh and I see Alison too, and it looks like she's brought a date - he looks familiar - a handsome hunk (of marble, I suspect). There's Henrik with his netsuke books and a handful of NLO's - he's a friendly sort, as most Swedes are. And Juan Carlos is here somewhere, he doesn't have a lot to say but he's a pretty funny guy. And then there's Piers working the room - confident in his powers to captivate a party with his verbal repartee. All the usual suspects are here but Martyn - who, I suspect is on Holiday in the South of France, and of course kind Judy who'll probably be here later with a cake. I saw this group of bandits all together in a huddle - I thought they were having a spirited discussion as to the merits of my little three man leaf. But it looks like they were nominating my treasured netsuke for the NNTO (Netsuke Not To Own) for 2017.

Here's wishing each of you a very Merry Christmas and a new year filled with joy and happiness.

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Re: Three in a Leaf

Postby jbjtennyo » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:40 pm

Aw Curt! I just love a Christmas story, but you omitted one person in your story -YOURSELF- You are not an onlooker but very much a part of the group discussion, noone saying anything to one another that they aren't saying to you! That's the wonderful part of your Christmas story, that you are here with us and one with us! And we are glad to have you here!
Merry Merry Christmas, Curt! Have a great holiday!

PS. Alison would never bring a hunk of marble to the party though! She would most likely bring a very well wornauthentic Japanese netsuke carved of wood. Alison loves the aji that is part of a carving that has been handled and loved.
Last edited by jbjtennyo on Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Three in a Leaf

Postby souldeep » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:39 pm

Curt wrote:Greetings from the Heartland of the USA - I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of the Holiday season.

Hi Curt - a very merry seasons greeting to you and your family :)

Unfortunately I'm not in the south of France relaxing - just been busy with family and work, still here in London, working up to the Xmas drop :X

Curt wrote:Certainly crude carving, but some care was taken to make this piece. Perhaps someone in the Folk Art movement was inspired to make this piece in homage to the traditional netsukes of the past.

Purchase date: June 2000.
Auction entry: "Old carved marine ivory (probably whale's tooth) netsuke of three men seated inside a huge leaf, good detailing and patina; circa 1900"

If this is during the Mengi movement it would place it no earlier than 1925.

My sincerest apologies for any confusion I may of caused regarding the term Mingei.

The movement was predominately created as part of the pottery schools formed by Kawai Kanjirō and Hamada Shōji, late 19th, then coined as a term early 20th. This of course is something you are already familiar with, and you are able to tell me more about the specifics than I know :)

In the netsuke world we tend to use this term in a much wider context - to cover hobby craft and folk work across the centuries in Japan. Not as an age indicator.

I think though, you are about right on the date. Though as a disclaimer - It's always difficult to age ivory under heavy stain .

You seem to have quite an astute grasp of individuals, and a comedic manner in which you deliver your analysis. I've been enjoying reading your humour as you continue to unveil pieces from your collection.

As a turn of events - does 2018 hold any plans to expand your collection? Whilst auction is undoubtedly fun, and you've shared here some of those successes, have you had the chance to browse some of the INS dealerships that provide online offerings? I find it a really useful exercise for comparisons.
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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Re: Three in a Leaf

Postby souldeep » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:01 pm

Curt wrote:Oh and I see Alison too, and it looks like she's brought a date - he looks familiar - a handsome hunk (of marble, I suspect)

I think Alison has transcended the dating the scene - in the piece you refer to, it's the baku's eyebrows that remind Alison of her husband :D


Alison - out of interest what is the material, Curt looks like he nailed it from your small avatar?
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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Re: Three in a Leaf

Postby Bakurae » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:53 pm

What a good memory you have, Martyn! My avatar is actually wood, rather dry but I haven't dared apply anything to it. I've since learned that the baku perched atop a Chinese table echoes the design of a little elephant atop such a table, illustrated in the Soken kisho among Chinese objects used as netsuke.

I'm happy to be at Curt's party, which sounds like a fun gathering. As to the "hunk of marble," I assume he's referring to my day job, in which I focus on Italian Renaissance Sculpture among other things. Curt, my comment on the "leaky boat" was not meant to address the quality of that netsuke (hard to argue with what's been said), but to suggest that even so it might have an interesting subject, if anyone could recognize it. I even tried googling involving "leaf boat", but no luck. Daruma takes a leaf boat across the river, but he doesn't have company and none of your guys looks at all like him.


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Re: Three in a Leaf

Postby AFNetsuke » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:55 pm

Curt, thanks for taking the time to share with us during what must be a busy time for your business. I hope lots of gift buyers will find solutions in your shop. You certainly have the personality to engage them and explain your collectibles. Have a great holiday season!

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Re: Three in a Leaf

Postby HLH » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:42 pm


What a response for a piece like this! But,
if I ever have the opportunity to vistit your shop I think I’ll buy the shishi instead if I may chose. :) :)
Season’s greetings and Merry Christmas to all interesting and high valued friends of the INS.

Be careful out there

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