'After the Bath'. Netsuke
Japan, late 18th-early 19th century
3 3/4 x 1 1/4 x 1 in. (9.5 x 3.1 x 2.5 cm)
Raymond and Frances Bushell Collection (AC1998.249.59). LACMA
Tobacco-pouch; kagami netsuke; ojime; kanamono; inner plate with Fujiwara no Kamatari recovering his jewel from the Dragon King of the Sea
Japanese, Edo period–Meiji era, mid to late 19th century (before 1889)
Tomoyoshi, Japanese. MFA
A Sashi Style Stag Antler Netsuke
Signed Sessai [Hokkyo Sessai (1820-1879)]
Of an intricately detailed skeleton, the bone structure clearly defined
Case (Inrô 印籠) with Design of Lute and Maple Leaves
Period: Edo period (1615–1868) Date: 19th century
Medium: Case: powdered gold (maki-e), colored and black lacquer, and gold leaf on lightly grooved wood; Fastener (ojime): glass; Toggle (netsuke): gold and colored lacquer on black lacquer with design of tobacco leaves in mother-of-pearl inlay
Sambaso Dancer, by Hojitsu (Japanese ?-1871), approx. 1800-1900. Netsuke; Ivory. The Avery Brundage Collection, B70Y621
Description via: asianart.org ”Sanbaso is a Kyogen character appearing in the auspicious New Year’s Noh play, Okina, who dances to bring about fertile harvests and safety for home and family. The crane and young pine motifs on the actor’ s robe are typical of this role and bespeak good future.”
Inro with mother-of-pearl inlay. 18th or early 19th century, Japan
Époque Edo (1603-1868)
bois, laque, nacre, or
(C) RMN-Grand Palais (musée Guimet, Paris) / Thierry Ollivier
Section Japon du musée Guimet
Seven-case inro with autumn landscape design, made in Japan in the mid-kate 18th century (source).
JAPANESE CARVED IVORY NETSUKE
Meiji Period (1868-1912). Of a human skull, surmounted by a coiled snake.
Height 1 3/4 inches.
See video here
Ashinaga (long legs) and Tenaga (long arms) catching a fish. Nestuke (miniature sculpture), 18-19th century, Japan. The WaltersArt Museum
Netsuke were carved from all sorts of material, including ivory, sea shells, rock, and wood. The frog (12 x 3 cm), shown in the image, was carved by Kokusai in the nineteenth century, from a piece of stag antler. The himotoshi, or cord channel, through which the cord suspending the sagemono would pass, is clearly visible between the frog’s front feet. Text and image via the Psych Dept, University of Alberta, Canada
Five-case inro with hawk, ho-o, and plum design, made in Japan in the mid-late 19th century (source).
The supernatural served as a popular source of inspiration in netsuke art. Traditionally, the Japanese loved ghost stories. Their mythologies and legends are filled with tales of ghosts and spirits. Ghosts are often depicted with long hair, flowing clothes, beckoning hands, and bodies trailing away in mists. The image shows a beautifully carved netsuke of a woman’s ghost (9.5 x 2.5 cm) carved of box wood by an unknown artist in the nineteenth century. Japan. Text and image via the Psych Dept, University of Alberta, Canada
As an artwork, netsuke are unique to Japan where, from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, they were worn as a part of the traditional Japanese clothing, the kimono. Because kimono have no pockets, small objects were carried in boxes, called sagemono (literally, “hanging object”). Sagemono took many forms: inro were lacquered cases for cosmetics, medicines, or seals, kinchaku were money cases, and tabako-ire were tobacco cases. The sagemono were suspended from a cord passed behind the obi, the sash holding the kimono closed. The netsuke served as the counterweight, attached to the other end of the cord, thereby preventing the sagemono from falling through the obi. The sagemono in the image is an inro made by the famous seventeenth century lacquer artist Ritsuou. Japanese lacquer work is unique in Asia, involving the sprinkling of gold and silver powder onto the surface. Lacquer art was extremely difficult; one inro could take years to be completed. The inro on the left (11 x 8 cm) displays a falcon tied to a perch shaped as a demon’s head. Text and image via Psych Dept, University of Alberta, Canada