Shokyusai - 5742
This piece is inspired by a popular tale in which an old couple, that treats with love their dog Shiro, obtains a treasure in return. The greedy neighbours, once they find out about it, try to take advantage of the dog but are harshly punished.
This netsuke, with natural himotoshi, depicts the moment in which Hanasaka Jijii, the old man, hoes the ground in a place indicated by the dog, where he will find the treasure. The signature Shokyusai (正久齋) is on the back of the old man’s vest.
Shokyusai Tomoyuki was a carver active in mid 19th century, specialized in the representation in ivory, of people and animals; his style is similar to the one adopted by the artists of the Edo/Tokyo school that worked within Chikuyosai Tomochika’s (1800-1873) workshop.