Ebony kiri by Maatosh
Lot 2154
An important ebony study of a kirin By Masatoshi (Nakamura Tokisada, Tokyo, 1915-2002), carved in 1977
Sold for US$ 27,500 inc. premium
Auction Details
Ebony kiri by Maatosh
Lot Details
Property of a Southern Gentleman
An important ebony study of a kirin
By Masatoshi (Nakamura Tokisada, Tokyo, 1915-2002), carved in 1977
The mythical animal shown standing with its four feet together and arching its back as it turns to look back and upward, its mouth open as if baying, flames emanating from its chest, the curly tail, mane and scaly skin all neatly carved with fine lines, signed on the left haunch Masatoshi to
3 5/8in (9.1cm) high

Footnotes

  • Provenance: Raymond and Frances Bushell Collection
    Published: Masatoshi as told to Raymond Bushell, The Art of Netsuke Carving (Tokyo: Kodansha International Ltd., 1981), fig. 99.
    Kinsey, Miriam, Living Masters of Netsuke (New York: Kodansha, 1984), fig. 137.

    This is purportedly the piece that served as Masatoshi's "audition" for Raymond Bushell's patronage. Bushell is said to have given Masatoshi a photograph of an old wood model of a standing kirin and asked him to carve a copy. History tells us that Bushell was pleased with the result as the two enjoyed a working relationship.
    Years later during a convention of the International Netsuke Society, Masatoshi was shown this ebony kirin and he immediately carried it over to a quiet corner where he could enjoy handling it on his own. He then told the current owner that it was the best piece he had ever carved.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this lot was published in the International Netsuke Society Journal, vol. 7, no. 1, pg. 21 "The 18 Greats"; and Connoisseur, 18 January, 1989. It was exhibited at the following venues: The Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas, "Texas Collects Japan", January, 2008; and The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada, "The Gould Collection", 1989.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $100,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Customer Services & Bids (New York)
    Customer Services
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 212 644 9001
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9009
  2. Asian Art (US)
    General Enquiries
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 415 503 3358
    FaxFax: +1 415 503 3300