Rimu - camel cricket netsuke

Possibly Iwami, circa 1850

A camel cricket – so called because of its domed back – rests on the cut side of a section of squash, its legs sharply folded upwards and long antennae exploring the heavily seeded flesh of the vegetable. Native to Japan, this particular cricket has no wings. The outer skin of the gourd is dimpled.

Bushell writes of this piece: “I am aware of only seeing one netsuke by Rimu, a single tantalising specimen, the one shown (Fig.194). The netsuke is rare in point of signature, but the two components of the design, the particular variety of squash and cricket, are also unusual in netsuke. The rarity as a whole is thus tremendously increased. One wonders whether there are other Rimus in existence and whether the others are as exceptional as this one.”

Signed either side of the cut stalk: Rimu
Length: 7.9cm

Provenance:
Edmond de Goncourt collection
H.C. Clifford collection
Dorothy and Demaree Bess collection
Charles A. Greenfield collection

Published:
Bushell, R., Collectors’ Netsuke, New York and Tokyo 1971, p.l. 194
Stern, Howard P., The Magnificent Three, Japan Society Inc., 1972, p.114, pl. 175
Hurtig, B., Masterpieces of Netsuke Art, Tokyo and New York, 1973, p. 70, pl. 222
Lazarnick, G., MCI, New York, 1986, p.6548 (recorded without illustration)

Signature Rimu
Signature Rimu