Yoshimasa - bunashimeiji mushrooms
Nagoya, mid 19th century
A dense cluster of bunashimeiji mushrooms, the plump stems tightly packed. In common with other mushroom group netsuke, one of the lower growths has a distinctly phallic appearance. The mature upper caps have flattened and spread over the domed caps of the newer growth. The underside reveals the finely detailed gills and dark mycelial threads. The larger caps are stained to give a slightly striated appearance.
Meinertzhagen records only five wood netsuke by this artist, all signed in ukibori within a rectangular reserve. He likens the carver’s work to that of Tadayoshi and notes that Tadayoshi was known to occasionally “partly-colour” his netsuke, as is the case with one of the recorded netsuke by Yoshimasa – this description is taken to mean different shaded stain rather than polychrome colour. One of the MCI cards records two netsuke by this hand, both from the Behrens collection. The second of these (Behrens no. 5568) is recorded to be of “common mushrooms”.
Lazarnick, G. (Ed.), Meinertzhagen Card Index, New York, 1986, p. 986