Tomochika - 5421

Tomochika, Edo/Tokyo school

Artisan with pumpkin
late 19th century
ivory   wood  
3,0x3,2x2,5 cm
友親 (Tomochika)
2005 bequest Maria Taglietti Lanfranchi
Inv. 5421

This  wooden netsuke depicts a smiling craftsman, sitting with his crossed legs and having a square box in front of him. He is engaged in the process of emptying a dryed pumpkin (hyotan, 葫) to make a container for liquids out of it;  another similar vegetable is placed near his right knee. The face and feet are ivory inserts, as well as the pumpkins. The himotoshi are on the lower side of the composition. Between the two holes is shown an incision in which the characters 友親 (Tomochika) have been identified, while a third character has not been deciphered.

The use of both wood and ivory in this specimen of the Lanfranchi collection contradicts the attribution to Tomochika workshop, in which the use of ivory was prevalent . Moreover, the signature execution induce the hypothesis of a later addition.  Although this type of production is confirmed to belong to Tokyo school, the stylistic characteristics of  this netsuke would lead to identify it as the work of a Meiji artist who carved in the manner of Tokoku.

In the Lanfranchi collection there is a netsuke depicting Daruma performed by one of the masters of the Tomochika workshop


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