Hidemasa - 5640

Hidemasa, Ōsaka school

Octupus inside a Shell
mid 19th century
3,8x5,0x2,0 cm
秀正 (Hidemasa)
2005 bequest Maria Taglietti Lanfranchi
Inv. 5640

Netsuke in the form of a valve of abalone shell (鲍, awabi) with seven breathing holes; on the back there is another smaller shell and an oblong leaf which also serves as a passage for the cord (himo). From inside the mollusk, represented with great realism, there is an octopus (蛸, tako). The signature Hidemasa (秀 正) is engraved with great clarity on the leaf.

Hidemasa is the name of a workshop of artists the geographic location of which is controversial. The most recent literature associates them to the Ōsaka  school. Their master was active between 1810 and 1840. It is possible to assume that this fine piece of the Lanfranchi collection has been executed by the master or, more likely, by one of his students  who continued to work in his name and then became Hidemasa II in the mid-nineteenth century. In the Lanfranchi collection there is another netsuke, depicting a peasant woman, ascribable to the Hidemasa workshop


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