19th Century Japanese Carved Kara Shishi Temple Lion on Ball Stag Antler Netsuke
Antique Japanese Stag Antler Netsuke
Kara Shishi 廟獅子
Chinese Lion Plays Ball
Sig: unsigned, Circa: 19th Century
H.1.3 in. (3.3cm), W.1.5 in. (3.8m), D.1 in. (2.5cm)
Condition: very good!
Beautifully carved Edo period netsuke with bold delineation, compact form and classic symmetrical composition, rugged hand tools quality with deep engraved line works. The netsuke represents a temple guardian lion with hieratic features. The forward mane of the beast is sectioned into five curling masses ending in knots, the remainder parted into petal shapes that fold back toward the lion’s five curling tails. The ears are laid back against the body, the brow is deeply furrowed above the glaring eyes, flared nostrils and bared teeth. The king of beast crouches over a ball, claws gripping the surface, the fur at the elbows and feet gathering in and rhythmic spirals. The patina is pale gold with an even shine. Tactile and lightly worn due to usage. Like many 19th century carvings, the Shishi netsuke is unsigned. Nevertheless, its age and superb artistry mark it as a work of integrity.