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Okimonos depicting rats, a symbol of wealth and fertility in Japanese culture, were often carved in the pose shown above, although usually clutching a chestnut rather than the bright-coloured persimmon fruit in this case.

The c.1900 6¼in (16cm) high piece dates to the Meiji Period and is carved with incised fur, black eyes and patinated ears.

It is priced at £2250 from Steve Sly Japanese Art of Poole in Dorset.


Chorley’s first ‘country house’ sale of the year takes place at Prinknash Abbey Park in Gloucestershire on January 29-30 and will feature select contents from a Grade I-listed Georgian country house in Worcestershire.

Ombersley Court was built for the 1st Lord Sandys between 1723-26 by Francis Smith of Warwick and remained in the family until recently. The house has been relatively untouched since the early 1950s when Arthur Oswald photographed it for a Country Life profile. The contents have been consigned by the family.

A 17th century portrait miniature of a gentleman by Cornelius Johnson (1593-1661), court painter to Charles II, is estimated at £2000-3000.


More than 100 pictures from the collection of Tony Neville, a former managing director of the venerable London dealership Frost & Reed, will be offered at Bristol Auction Rooms in Brislington on January 24.

Works by William Russell Flint, Edwin Penny, Fay Moore, John Piper and Marcel Dyf will be for sale, as well as this 9 x 11½in (22 x 29cm) watercolour and gouache by Mary Fedden (1915-2012). Signed and dated 2000, Over to Skye is estimated at £2000-3000.


Edinburgh saleroom Lyon & Turnbull will include a 30-lot section of vintage ski posters in its New Year offering of Contemporary and Post War art on January 22.

Designed in 1911 by Walter Koch (1875-1915), this 3ft 5in x 2ft 5in (1.05m x 74cm) poster for the Swiss alpine town of Davos is estimated at £3000-5000 and comes with a condition grade of A-.

lyonandturnbull.com or see this item on thesaleroom.com