Participants at the last netsuke convention all received a very generous gift in the form of an illustrated sales catalog from the Tokyo, Sagemonoya. Item number 105 within, entitled "Rat with Pea" inspired me to create a carving based on a similar theme. The netsuke rat, depicted in the catalog, was carved in a posture suggesting the shape of a chestnut. I thought I'd take things a step further and came up with this:
A simplified rat, in the silhouette of a chestnut holding, of course, a chestnut. It's carved out of mountain mahogany with horn and bone accents, measuring about 1 1/2" (3.5cm) at the broadest point. Mountain mahogany has a wonderfully rich, chocolatey appearance and touch when polished- I think especially well conveyed in this small work.