A tiger netsuke by Tomatado from the Gadelius collection.

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Gadelius was a member of the well-known Swedish steel manufacturing family who grew up in Japan and later moved to London.

He was given his first netsuke in the 1950s but when that turned out to be a fake, he was put off and didn't start collecting seriously until around 1970.

But Gadelius went on to build up a collection that ranged over all periods from the 18th century master Tomatada to pieces by contemporary artists like Michael Webb, but with a particular fondness for the So School, all of whose carvers are represented in his collection.

The Liverpool donation came after Gadelius visited the World Museum stores and was impressed with its existing netsuke collection.

His own gift was documented and catalogued before donation. A custom-built case had been created to house examples, which will be on show from January next year, with the display changing regularly.

By Anne Crane