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The 79 wood, ivory and porcelain netsuke are included in Matthew Barton’s November 21 sale of European and Asian works of art at 25 Blythe Road. They have a combined high estimate of £30,000.

Max Rutherston, a London dealer of Japanese art and friend of de Waal, has helped organise the sale and will take this section of the auction. It is in aid of the Refugee Council. The auction can be viewed live on thesaleroom.com.

79 of 264 pieces

The diminutive carvings in a range of organic materials are part of the 264-piece collection acquired in Paris in the late 1870s by de Waal’s ancestor Charles Ephrussi (1849-1905).

In The Hare with the Amber Eyes, de Waal tracks the collection’s journey across Europe to Japan, where it was eventually taken in 1948 after being saved and hidden away during the Anschluss in 1938, by one of the family’s servants.

The majority of the collection, including the hare referred to in the title, has been placed by the family on long-term loan in the Jewish Museum in Vienna.