Iwashiro, circa 1840
A walnut netsuke of an inflated fugu fish, its tail flickering around to one side and eyes staring sternly ahead as it reacts with an air of menace to an unseen foe. The small squared mouth reveals four impressive teeth. The carver has exploited the natural texture of the shell to recreate the rough texture of the fish’s back, while the swollen belly is smooth. The eyes are inlaid in dark buffalo horn circled in metal.