Masakata - wooden netsuke of two fighting shishi
Nagoya, circa 1840
A wood group of two fighting shishi, one open mouthed and lying on its back as it struggles to fend of the other who is sinking its teeth into its foreleg. The creature apparently with the upper hand in the combat has ears which sweep up dramatically, lending him a sense of dynamic power while the strands of its tail flicker down to meet those of its opponent. The detailing of the openwork carving is particularly successful. The shishi currently at a disadvantage has a loose ball in his mouth. The eyes inlaid with dark horn.
Signed on a rectangular panel: Masakata