I found this fascinating, because I had never heard of a Yatate in spite of half a century of collecting Asian antiques,
This interesting writing set is 7 and 1/2 inches long. The cover is not attached, because the hinge is too loose. Brushes not included.
Condition: Very Good.
Circa: Late 1800s.
A bit of history about the Yatate:
During the Kamakura era (1185–1333), the idea of ink-saturated cotton was developed. By touching a calligraphy brush to the cotton, one could ink the bristles with reduced risk of dripping or spilling ink. By enclosing the cotton in a little box ("sumi tsubo"), a writing set was made convenient and portable.
The first yatate were long boxes, with the ink compartment in the axis of the pen. The "smoking pipe" shape was designed to increase the quantity of available ink. In the late Edo era, another design was developed, with the ink box attached to the pen shaft by a chain; the ink box was used as a netsuke to fix the yatate to the belt, while other yatate are simply put in the belt like a fan.
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