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243 A VERY RARE IVORY NETSUKE OF A TORTOISE PILE BY TADAKAZU By Tadakazu (Chuichi), ivory netsuke Japan, Osaka, early 19th century, Edo period (1615-1869) A captivatingly dense ivory netsuke full of individual character and charm depicting eleven tortoises, two of them larger than the rest, forming a pile and each one depicted in a different attitude and full of movement. Each one is smiling, with inlaid eyes of dark horn, all with the same goal – to get to the top where the sun is the strongest and to enjoy a healthy sunbathing. Every netsuke connoisseur will immediately know the artist, since he almost exclusively made these piles of tortoises and in the process mastered the art. The carver is Tadakazu (or Chuichi), both names are important since they are often referenced differently in netsuke literature. When researching his output, one immediately notices that he carved almost exclusively in wood, making the present netsuke, carved from ivory, incredibly rare. Large and irregular himotoshi as well as the signature in an oval reserve TADAKAZU 忠一. HEIGHT 4.3 cm Provenance: British private collection with two valuations from Sotheby’s, by Neil K. Davey, dated 1974 & 1984, inventory no. 54. Condition: Three inlaid eyes are missing and minor discoloration to ivory, otherwise in very good condition. Literature comparison: Another ivory tortoise pile by Tadakazu is shown in Zacke, Netsuke und Inro aus Japan - Ausstellung 1985, Vienna, no. 82. Estimate EUR 2.000,Starting price EUR 1.000,-

244 A FINE WOOD NETSUKE OF A TORTOISE PILE BY TADAKAZU By Tadakazu (Chuichi), wood netsuke Japan, Osaka, early 19th century, Edo period (1615-1869) The same model as previous no. 243, however carved from the artists preferred material, which is also shown in the quality of the work, which is significantly higher. The wood is of a very good color and attractively stained, and the tortoises are carved masterfully. Particular attention has been given to the carapace of each of the five tortoises. They are climbing on top of each other to get the most of the sun. The eyes are minutely inlaid in black horn. Large and irregular himotoshi rimmed in ivory as well as the signature in an oval recessed reserve TADAKAZU 忠一. HEIGHT 4.6 cm Provenance: British private collection with two valuations from Sotheby’s, by Neil K. Davey, dated 1974 & 1984, inventory no. 131, and old collection no. G325. Condition: One vertical crack through the largest tortoise, otherwise very good condition. Estimate EUR 2.000,Starting price EUR 1.000,-

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