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Home > Collectible Antiques > Japan

Antique Okimono Netsuke wood study MASAKAZU

Item ID:4856

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Item description:

Offered for sale is an EXCEPTIONALLY RARE and important antique mid 19th century (circa 1860) Japanese wood carving study of a mother ape and her two children monkeys playing with her – signed by famous artist Masakazu (died 1886). Above all, the present work of art is one of the largest ever offered for sale and known in existence that had been executed by Masakazu and measuring a superb 113 x 83.5 x 59mm in size. Nearly all other known pieces by Masakazu have by far smaller measurements and hardly go over 40-50mm and are usually netsuke pieces, i.e. less than a 1/3 of the present carving. A couple of small netsuke wood carvings by Masakazu are in possession and exhibited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in London and several other similarly sized pieces had appeared at major auctions brining top hammer prices. The carving we currently offer for sale depicts a mother ape with her two kids playing around with her. One of the apes is standing above her head and the other is kissing her chin from beneath. The wood is originally patinated to a rich dark tone with specially polished parts and is superbly preserved. All monkeys have scarce inlaid eyes made of buffalo horn with black ebony pupils, as well as intricate hairwork throughout their bodies. The Masakazu signature is placed at the bottom of the statue figure. Many other Masakazu wood carvings are exhibited worldwide in prestigious Art Galleries. One of the more recent sales of a Masakazu piece is from 2007 at Eldred’s in the US, where a very small and similar by design netsuke carving of an ape has sold for nearly $6,000, but it’s size is nearly a quarter of the presently offered carving. A Masakazu piece of such a superb quality and design and such a large size as the one we currently offer for sale, should be estimated several times more than any recent benchmarks. The present wood carving by Masakazu is indeed one of the very important antique Japanese works of art and true museum or gallery collector piece. It comes from the estate of a well-known European noble family, who lived in Japan and China between 1890 and 1920s and were among the true collectors of fine and antique Japanese and Asian works of art during those years. All pieces had been preserved in perfect condition and superbly looked after throughout the years. The present work of art is in an absolutely perfect condition without any faults whatsoever and is lifetime guaranteed authentic and of highest ever quality.


$15000.00 / €10714.29




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For a Total of: $677904.78

Last updated:
Mar 24, 2018, 5:56 pm

USD to EUR exchange rate 1.45
Last updated:
Nov 07, 2007, 9:01 am