Japan, Meiji Period, 1868 to 1912 CE. This is a beautiful dark boxwood netsuke with heavily detailed, realistic carving on all sides showing a frog on a lilypad with a curious carving on the bottom of the lilypad that may be a mushroom but whose true shape I will leave you to decide. The frog has glass eyes. The realism of the piece speaks to the 19th century Japanese interest in naturalism. In fact, in the city of Takayama, artists who specialized in carving frogs kept the animals as pets in order to observe their bodies. The frog's bumpy skin has been made through a texturing process called ukibori, where textured, raised bumps are created by compressing the wood with a stylus planing away the surrounding area, and then wetting the surface to cause the compacted designs to swell upwards. Size: 2" L x 1.45" W x 1.15" H (5.1 cm x 3.7 cm x 2.9 cm)
Provenance: Ex-private Santa Fe, New Mexico collection
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