Signed to蘭川(RANSEN)

LENGTH 4.3cm

Osaka school

19th century, Edo period (1615-1868)

Provenance: European collection.

There are two types of dogs in Japan: Inu and Chin. Among them, “Chin” mainly refers to the aristocratic companion dog that serves the members of the royal family.

Finely carved, both with fine expressions, floppy ears, tails swung to one side, and neatly incised fur heightened with sumi, the spine precisely rendered, the underside well carved, several himotoshi between the  animal and their limbs, the side and underside with asymmetrical himotoshi.

Condition: Superb condition with expected surface wear and very little age cracks. Fine, warm patina.

Literature comparison:

Though RANSEN carved several dogs, But this Chin dog with pup is quite rare. Compare a related ivory netsuke of a dog by RANSEN, in a similar pose as the mother dog in the present netsuke, 5.1 cm high, dated early 19th century, at Bonhams, The Harriet Szechenyi Sale of Japanese Art, 8 November 2011, London, lot 157 (sold for 46,850 GBP). Compare a related netsuke of a dog and young, also attributed to RANSEN and dated late 18th century.


Netsuke & inro artists, and how to read their signatures P862-863,Lazarnick, George,Published by Reed Publishers, U.S.A. 1982

MCI(The Meinertzhagen Card Index on Netsuke in the Archives of the British Museum)P638-639,Frederick Meinertzhagen,New York,1986


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