Two very fine carvings were offered by Stride & Son (18% buyer’s premium) in Chichester on December 17.
Estimated at £400-600 but sold online at £9800 was a netsuke by Rakueisai, a talented Tokyo netsuke carver who was a pupil of Eirakusai Tomotada. This is a version of his best known work depicting General Gentoku, one of the three heroes of Han, riding his steed through the Dankei torrent. The source of this netsuke is thought to be a double-page spread from the Ehon shaho bukuro (Bag of sketching treasures).
Several examples are known including one in the V&A and another sold at Bonhams for £5000 (part of a group lot) in 2011.
Sold to an online bidder via thesaleroom.com was a Meiji okimono depicting the mountain woman Yamauba and the young Kintaro, the Japanese hero known for his great feats of incredible strength, that she raises after he is found abandoned in the Ashigara. Monkeys play at their feet.
At over 12in (30cm) high, this Tokyo school carving is relatively large and full of the detail that connoisseurs have long appreciated. A decade ago, before the cloud of international ivory legislation, it might have commanded £20,000.
Here it was guided at £800-1200 and brought £6500 on thesaleroom.com.