Antique Netsuke

Like all art objects of great worth, netsuke distill the essence of a specific time and place. As such netsuke differ in style, subject and material as widely as the personalities of their makers, and they are consequently supremely collectable. A wood netsuke of a lunar hare, signed Hoichi Yoshikazu , Edo period 19th century. Netsuke emerged as a practical solution to dressing in 17th-century Japan. To carry things suchas tobacco, medicine or other necessities, men hung stylish inro and other vessels from cords looped under and behind the wide sashes that held their kimonos in place. At the other end of those cords, men fastened small, ornamental objects as counterweights; those objects evolved into netsuke. Those toggles may have spawned the netsuke. But the netsuke we know today is a distinctly Japanese art form. As netsuke evolved so did the design vocabulary, encompassing mythological creatures, religious subjects, zodiacal animals, kabuki actors or literary heroes. Netsuke could even be subversive — erotic in nature, or used as social satire.

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Carved wood netsuke in the form of a cicada, late 19th century, Japan. This superbly articulated rendition of a skeleton astride a skull is a humorous statement of the transitory nature of human life. A blog dedicated to Japanese artistic heritage.

[back of netsuke], in Japanese, incised “[translated as ‘Fûshô’]”. Not dated. Credit. Gift of G F Williams Location. Not on display.

Netsuke were developed as toggles in the seventeenth century to hold lacquer boxes in the sashes of kimonos. Evolved from simple tools, netsuke developed into intricate works indicative of fashion, class, and culture. These objects and their continuously evolving function call into question the separation of Art, Craft, and Fashion. Netsuke provide a troubling predicament in when attempting to classify them as objects.

Developed from simple belt rings used to hold pouches, thus the ancestry of Netsuke can be traced from tools. However an aesthetic focus and level of craftsman began to change the agency of these objects. The physical function of the object as a toggle remained an important factor. This regulated Netsuke to act as a craft. Netsuke held a close relationship in adorning the human body.

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A netsuke is a small sculptural object which has gradually developed in Japan over a period of more than three hundred years. Netsuke singular and plural initially served both functional and aesthetic purposes. The traditional form of Japanese dress, the kimono , had no pockets. Women would tuck small personal items into their sleeves, but men suspended their tobacco pouches, pipes, purses, writing implements, and other items of daily use on a silk cord passed behind their obi sash.

These hanging objects are called sagemono. The netsuke was attached to the other end of the cord preventing the cord from slipping through the obi.

Apr 19, – Netsuke of Flying Goose over Flowers Date: 19th century Culture: Japan Medium: Ivory, decorated with bird in shakudo and flowers in.

Netsuke are carved, often ornate toggles once used in Japan in the days before pockets. These objects were used to hold leather pouches in place. Pouches used to store tobacco were tied to the obi the sash worn with the kimono , and the obi was pulled through holes in the netsuke to secure it, similar to how toggles are used to secure bolo ties. Craftsmen carved netsuke out of wood, ivory, ceramics, jade, dried mushroom and other materials.

The toggles represent a variety of objects such as vegetables, fish, mythological creatures and flowers. The first netsuke were made as early as the 14th century, but after , when the Japanese started wearing Western clothes, the use and creation of the netsuke faded away. These objects are still valued today as decorative antiques.

Verify that your object is actually a netsuke by finding the two small holes where the obi would be tucked. These holes will be about the size of shoelace holes. If your object does not have holes, it is not a true netsuke. The oldest netsuke, which originated in the 14th century, were made of wood and were purely utilitarian. In the early age of netsuke, from the 17th through early 19th centuries, the Japanese were influenced by Chinese art and culture, and produced netsuke portraying Chinese mythology and customs.

Most of these pieces are unsigned.

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Museum number W.

Date: November 6, EI Presenter: Camille Ronzio. Artwork Title: Netsuke. Year Created: Edo Period A. 5 most essential aspects of this work of​.

We use cookies to remember choices you make on functionality and personal features to enhance your experience to our site. By continuing to use our site you consent to the use of cookies. Please refer to our privacy and cookie policies for more information. The sale of the Robert S. Businessman Robert S. Fascinated by netsuke — the small carved ornaments worn as part of Japanese traditional dress — he built up over many decades the finest collection ever formed of netsuke from the historical Iwami district in South West Japan today part of the Shimane prefecture.

Huthart collection is widely acknowledged among collectors of netsuke, and the competition to acquire his pieces was intense. We are delighted at the result, and are looking forward to offering more of these treasures in the second part of the sale later in the year.

Netsuke: The Evolution of an Object

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Inro and netsuke are men’s accessories which date from the Edo period of Japan (). An inro was a portable case used to carry writing materials or.

Netsuke collecting is popular all throughout the world. First worn during the Edo Period in 17th century Japan, these toggles caught the fancy of European travelers in the 19th century. At that time, oriental designs were popular in the west. They are collected as miniature figurines as they are just about an inch in height. Often called netsuke beads, they serve as toggles or purse stoppers, to a string attached to the kimono sash or obi.

The kimono does not have pockets so Japanese men and women carry their personal effects inside pouches or small boxes. These small packets are anchored onto the sash by a wood or ivory netsuke. Wearing fancy jewelry was unheard of in the ancient Japanese culture. Instead, carved netsuke figurines were the mode of personal expression. The quality of netsuke figurines vary as they are widely available throughout Japan and kimono shops all over the world.

Netsukes can be made from wood, ivory, shell, bone, metal, and clay. Themes include animals and people. Deities and mythical animals used in netsuke designs were said to ward off evil spirits. Back in the days of ancient Japan, ivory netsuke figurines were preferred by affluent gentlemen.

‘Manju’ netsuke of a dragon

British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Inro and netsuke are men’s accessories which date from the Edo period of Japan An inro was a portable case used to carry writing materials or traditional medicines such as ginseng and cinnamon.

Download this stock image: Netsuke of Shell. Date: 19th century; Culture: Japan; Medium: Ivory; Dimensions: H. 2 in. ( cm); W. 1 5/8 in. ( cm).

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Museum number , Description Netsuke. Box with a Japanese couple making love. Made of partially lacquered ivory. Production date Late 18th century. Production place Made in: Kyoto-fu. Materials ivory lacquer gold.

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