Japanese copperware ornament or netsuke of a tortoise and snake. It is not a wearing netsuke, but a decorative netsuke. It was made by metalware artist Haruhiko Shimoo, or in Japanese as 'Shimoo Haruhiko 下尾晴彦', a very famous modern metalware craftsman in Japan. He made this piece about 30 years ago.
The small creation is made with great detail and well patinated in a brownblack with gold highlights perfectly done. The shell of the mythological tortoise and snake are created with painstaking detail. The snake tail curved up and around to create a frame around them both. They both have great expressions on their faces and long sharp tongues. They are created upon their own nicely carved Japanese style metal stand that is part of the statue. Shimoo Haruhiko has stamped his signature in the 'Kamajirushi 'similar to a cartouche on the bottom. It is a very nice color and a wonderful piece. It is lovely and although small it is noticeable even from across the room to which I can personally testify.
It is in excellent condition with no cracks or chips. I am still working on finding any information about the artist.
Size: Width 2.8 inches or 7 cm, Length 1.5 inches or 3.7 cm, Height 2.6 inches or 6.5 cm. Weight 7.41 oz. or 210 grams
the Copper Lost Wax Cast Method
Most likely, this was made by copper casting and using the lost cast method, which i used for small statues with a lot of detail.
The following information was found on Wikipedoa. Please see our other metalware art.
Techniques of the main cast Casting a metal which is melted and poured into a prototype which had been made beforehand, it is metalworking method for the form of interest. Although the basic technology of casting was born thousands of years ago has not changed even now, and if there is a variation of a number, you cannot use the four main techniques in Takaoka copperware. By the respective techniques, also different prototype development
Wax casting method This is the most high-precision technique. Beeswax to create a prototype in which the combined boiled pine resin extracted from the hive and Japan wax extracted from the fruit of goby and baked at high temperature wrapped in soil, a prototype of the wax is melted by the heat, the gap is born . And pouring the metal to be dissolved here.
Lost Wax Method A molten metal is poured into a mold that has been created by means of a wax model. Once the mold is made, the wax model is melted and drained away. A hollow core can be effected by the introduction of a heat-proof core that prevents the molten metal from totally filling the mold. The lost-wax method dates from the 3rd-millennium bc and has sustained few changes since then. To cast a clay model in bronze, a mold is made from the model, and the inside of this negative mold is brushed with melted wax to the desired thickness of the final bronze. After removal of the mold, the resultant wax shell is filled with a heat-resistant mixture.
Wax tubes, which provide ducts for pouring bronze during casting and vents for the noxious gases produced in the process, are fitted to the outside of the wax shell, which may be modeled or adjusted by the artist. Metal pins are hammered through the shell into the core to secure it. Next, the prepared wax shell is completely covered in layers of heat-resistant plaster, and the whole is inverted and placed in an oven. During heating, the plaster dries and the wax runs out through the ducts created by the wax tubes. The plaster mold is then packed in sand, and molten bronze is poured through the ducts, filling the space left by the wax. When cool, the outer plaster and core are removed, and the bronze may receive finishing touches.
from the manufacturer site in Japan: