Netsuke is a Japanese form of sculpture from the 17th and 18th centuries (the Edo period). These little sculptures originally served a practical purpose- to fasten the cords holding the sagemono (containers for personal items) to a man’s kimono. Eventually they evolved into decorative and artistic uses.
Above is a carving of “The Blind Men and the Elephant.” These are all from the Walters collections, presented here under a Creative Commons license. All these carvings are under 2 inches.
Daruma, the first Zen Buddhist Patriarch. Yeah, it’s actually carved like that.