Rakuzan - 5610
This tinted ivory netsuke depicts a recumbent ox (ushi 牛), the animal's eyes are inlaid with dark horn. The two holes of the himotoshi, one larger than the other, are located on the lower side of the composition, on the animal's belly. The signature Rakuzan (樂山), enclosed in an oval cartouche, is placed under the right rear paw.
Rakuzan was a netsukeshi active in the mid-nineteenth century, probably of the Ōsaka school, known through his compositions in ivory with animal subjects such as monkeys, dogs, horses and oxes, as evidenced by this piece in the Lanfranchi collection.
The subject of the ox is also present in another earlier netsuke of the Lanfranchi collection made in the eighteenth century.