Sold. Russia, private collection.
Materials: Spermwhale tooth.
Dimensions: 37×25×28 mm.
Weight: 20,4 g.
According to the Japanese mythology, kappa loves cucumbers. The reason behind that love lies in its embodiment as a water deity. Moreover, in the ancient times it was a custom to present cucumbers to water deities.
The netsuke represents a kappa´s skull with a cucumber sprout growing right through it. Thus, the kappa remains inseparable with the object of its desires even after death.
The netsuke is made of a warm-toned sperm whale tooth. To find out how to tell different types of marine ivory apart, you may read my article Marine Ivory in the CIS Netsuke Journal #6 03-2014.