Unsigned, in the manner of Kokeisai Sansho

Meiji era (1868-1912)

A standing foreigner, he stands with his hands held behind his back and tucked into his wide sleeves, his head thrown back. The loosely tied garments and tall cloth hat suggest he might be a Sogdian merchant from the Silk Route. His face is creased into a somewhat pained expression, but his open mouth may imply that he is singing out his wares to prospective customers. Often the designs taken up by netsuke carvers were from illustrated Chinese books, interpretations of foreigners’ costumes frequently a pastiche of various styles of dress.

Height: 9.2cm