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Rat catcher: O.67-1991

An image of Netsuke

Photograph copyright © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

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Object information


Rat catcher




Netsuke: katabori: Rat catcher. Ivory, finely carved and stained. Figure of an angry rat catcher half-nude crouching over a grain-measure holding a large club in his right hand and looking at the rat escaping over his left shoulder. The rat with finely incised details and black eyes, the man with a shaven head and his hair scraped into a bun; his tongue and eyes are tinted red. Himotoshi through the back of the grain-measure.


History note: H.S. Reitlinger (d.1950); the Reitlinger Trust, Maidenhead, from which transferred in 1991.

Legal notes

Bequeathed by H.S. Reitlinger, 1950; transferred from the Reitlinger Trust, 1991.

Measurements and weight

Height: 2.6 cm
Width: 3.7 cm

Relative size of this object

3.7 cm2.6 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1950) by Reitlinger, Henry Scipio


Edo Period (1615-1868)
19th century
Circa 1800 - 1868 1868

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration: composed of red pigment

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Carving : Ivory, finely carved, incised and stained

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: O.67-1991
Primary reference Number: 22353
Old object number: JAPWA/718
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 1 June 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 2 June 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2020) "Netsuke" Web page available at: Accessed: 2021-11-30 12:35:08

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=|title=Netsuke|author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2021-11-30 12:35:08|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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<div class="text-center my-3"> <figure class="figure"> <img src="" alt="Rat catcher" class="img-fluid" /> <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Rat catcher</figcaption> </figure> </div>

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