Stag antler otoshizutsu - Hosai
A stag antler otoshizutsu applied with a metal design of an anchor that follows the natural line of the dark cancellus. A thick rope or chain hangs down behind the four-pronged hook. A small metal hook in the rope hole serves as a himotoshi.
Lazarnick (MCI p. 490-491) records a Hosai who, according to Reikichi, was extremely versatile in horn and ivory and used a variety of techniques. Only one illustration matches this signature, a kagamibuta exhibited at the William Nelson Hill Gallery of Art in Kansas, 1977. In that example the bowl is by Hosai, the plate by Yasuchika.
Merrily Baird (Symbols of Japan, Rizzoli, 2001) records that the anchor is a motif used in family crests. It is also associated with the suicide of Taira Tomomori, who used one as a weight tied to his body to before leaping from his boat following his clan’s defeat at Dannoura in 1185.