King of the Castle, 2017

Netsuke, hand carved stained boxwood with inlaid buffalo horn
Signed on an inset tablet of 18ct gold


Height 5.1cm (2")
Width 4cm (1 5/8")
Depth 4.2cm (1 5/8")


Private Collection, London, 2017


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More about King of the Castle, 2017

Netsuke is the traditional Japanese craft of carving miniature wooden sculptures designed to be used as toggles to hold the obi (sash) in place on a kimono.   This netsuke was inspired by the children’s game in which the players compete to stay on top of a raised vantage point such as a hill, a heap, a chair, or other designated area. The one who manages to attain the greatest height is the “King of the Castle”, and remains so until another player succeeds in displacing him – none too gently as a rule. Lessons learnt in the playground prepare children for the challenges of life as an adult. Here, a young mouse has climbed atop some fungi, and is watching a beetle that, despite his small size, seems to be considering a challenge for the crown.

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