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Neil Holton Japanese Art


An ebony figure of a Tekkai Sennin.

The youthful ascetic slightly elevates his head, his throat bellows and he puckers his lips to exhale his soul. This sorcery quite naturally creates a great gale that sends the Sennin’s loose robe into motion and his hairdo into a state of dishevelment. With both hands he grips his staff close, pressing the wood into the ground to steady his body. Over his robe mugwort leaves protect his shoulders and waist, tied around the waist is a gourd which nestles against a large straw hat. He’s fully equipped with all he requires for a nomadic existence.

Kagetoshi is an interesting artist. He left behind a diverse body of work, encompassing some excellent animals. Some of these animals probably represent his early work when he had just gained independence from a Kyoto studio and they acknowledge the influence of earlier masters. His Rats for instance display a slight Masanao of Kyoto appearance. Please see: Netsuke. The Hull Grundy Collection in the British Museum. By Victor Harris. Number 142. A Rat by Kagetoshi. INCS. Volume 10. Number 1. Page 31. A Rat by Masanao. It is plausible to suggest it was from the Masanao studio he gained independence probably at the same time as the likes of Kiyokatsu. During Kagetoshi’s mature period we see works which he’s probably best remembered for, the minutely carved pavilion, which in some cases are exemplar displays of the anabori and sukashibori technique. Figures are by far his least encountered endeavour, though the few that do exist demonstrate an individuality, the youthful nature of our Tekkai is highly original.

Signed: Kagetoshi. Kyoto School. First half of the 19th Century.


Ex: Peter Burton Collection. Bedford. England.

Ex: Milton Stratos Collection.

Ex: Victor Topper Collection.

Ex: Alan Liss Collection.

Guide Price - £2,550