The primary chraracteristic of an authentic netsuke is its suitability to be used as a toggle. The most antique shape is the simple sphere or disc, but there are many more complex ones such as human figures or animals, flowers, pagodas and so on. Models deviating too greatly from their original function may be fascinating items but raise doubts as to their authenticity.
The netsuke was tied to the girdle with a silken cord which was threaded through 2 holes in the toggle. In the absence of these holes or other credible means of fastening the cord the piece is probably a collector's item or a souvenir. The most important indication that a netsuke was used as a toggle and worn for a long time is the deformation of the holes. The silken cord, with the weight of the suspended articles, should have worn the rims of the holes, making them oval in shape, if no holes are present, then presumably the cord was wound around a narrow part of the netsuke, for example the neck of a figure, and a signs of wear should be visible in this area.
At Dream Art Gallery, we have a different approach compared to other companies, while others will just limit to express authenticity or not, we go to great lenghts to educate all the collectors with important tips and advises.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have further queries.