Shigemasa - chestnut netsuke

circa 1825

A large chestnut with a thin undeveloped fruit pressed against its upper side. A pair of gingko nuts, one with its shell partly removed, rest on top, while on the underside a plump maggot emerges. The blunt ends are finely stippled with veining in ukibori and the ridges of the unformed nut are finely carved.

The carver is better known for his carvings of snails on buckets, frogs and shells. Bushell (Collectors’ Netsuke, p. 79) observes “Shigemasa’s forte was his brilliant use of stain and color to differentiate and emphasize textures, materials and comprising the various parts of his designs… The overall effect of Shigemasa is to convey a quiet impression of naturalness and reality, the technical perfection and artistry quite inconspicuous”.

Signed in lightly incised characters: Shigemasa with kao
Width: 4.0cm

Signature Shigemasa