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This object is eligible for a Certificate of BADA Provenance

A classic composition, carved with the precision and expressiveness typical of this consummate artist. The eye’s of both man and rat are inlaid in buffalo horn

Signed: Masaka to. Circa 1880

Length: 5.7 cm 


Masaka is one of the greatest carvers of okimono and netsuke of the late Meiji period.  In netsuke, the only animals he carved were rats.  

For a good idea of the quality of his skill, see the excellent article by Bernard Hurtig in the ‘JINCS’, 12/2, pp. 28-39. On p. 29 he illustrates an apparently more stained okimono of the rat catcher from 3 different angles

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