Gessho - standing figure netsuke
Edo (Tokyo), circa 1830
A standing figure of an islander, his hands support a small drum that is tied to his back with a rope belt and he wears a short skirt that falls softly to his knees. His balding head is thrown back, eyes narrowed as he seems to abandon himself to a hearty song or shout. The body is carved to emphasise its wiry musculature.
Meinertzhagen’s notes record that “Gessho is one of the great Netsuke carvers of the 18th century, tho’ not very well known.” (cf: Lazarnick’s MCI, p. 78)