Ryusansai Issan, possibly Iwashiro

circa 1830

Ryusansai Issan, possibly Iwashiro

A playful leveret leaps over his parent’s back, his body forming an arc that calls to mind depictions of a hare leaping over a crescent moon. Unfazed by the activity, the mother grooms her long ear as she gazes indulgently towards her energetic offspring. The eyes are inlaid in dark buffalo horn.

A carver whose work is seldom seen, Ryusansai Issan has long been confused with the Iwashiro craftsman, Hidari Issan. However, as Neil Davey notes in Netsuke, a Comprehensive Study: “…a contemporary of Hidari Issan. Here, however, the similarity between the two ends” From those examples of which there are records, the majority are of animal subjects and some of these are groupings of more than one.

There is also some confusion among writers between Ryusansai Issan and Ryusenshi. The latter sometimes erroneously labelled “Ryusenshi Issan”. There is no known link between the two carvers.

Height: 11.2cm

Carlo Monzino collection

Ryusansai Issan, possibly Iwashiro
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