Japanese Inro with Mixed Metal Netsuke

Offered in this sale is an antique Japanese inro of very unusual form. Suspended from a mixed material manju netsuke, the inro consists of an outer frame of lacquered copper, with foliate motifs in gold on a black background. Into this open frame slips a small lacquered box resembling a miniature suzuri-bako, the top and bottom of which are decorated with a gold lacquered "mon" of three diamond shapes, representing a folded piece of paper tied in a knot. This box opens to reveal a two-compartment interior. The inro is suspended on a braided silk (?) cord, which runs through a polished stone (carnelian) ojime and attaches to the mixed metal kagamibuta of the netsuke. The mixed metal scene depicts a musician standing on a bridge playing a flute to the full moon. This flute player is Minamoto no Yoshitane, fabled samurai, pictured on the bridge at Edo (Tokyo) just before his battle with the warrior, Benkei. It's a famous tale in Japan.

Measurements: Inro 2 3/4 inches x 2 1/4 inches x 3/4 inches. Netsuke 1 ½ inches diam.

The overall condition is excellent. Under magnification some minor lacquer losses are visible around the edges of the outer case. The ivory disc has a crack that runs from one edge to the center.

The only large visible loss is a 3mmx3mm loss at the top of one of the tubes through which the cord runs which has exposed the copper core.

The surfaces of the inner lacquered box show some signs of wear from sliding in and out of the frame, and there are very minor chips around the very edges of both the top and bottom of the box that I would categorize as signs of wear rather than actual damage.

The carnelian ojime is in perfect condition. The bowl of the netsuke has an age crack running more than half way through it. See photos.

There is some minor wear to the mixed metal kagamibuta and probably the loss of two inlaid petals in a flower on the kimono. There is fine detailing in the robe of the musician.

Item ID: 4479

Japanese Inro with Mixed Metal Netsuke

Japanese Inro with Mixed Metal Netsuke
Japanese Inro with Mixed Metal Netsuke
Japanese Inro with Mixed Metal Netsuke
Japanese Inro with Mixed Metal Netsuke
Japanese Inro with Mixed Metal Netsuke
Japanese Inro with Mixed Metal Netsuke
Japanese Inro with Mixed Metal Netsuke

Offered in this sale is an antique Japanese inro of very unusual form. Suspended from a mixed material manju netsuke, the inro consists of an outer frame of lacquered copper, with foliate motifs in gold on a black background. Into this open frame slips a small lacquered box resembling a miniature suzuri-bako, the top and bottom of which are decorated with a gold lacquered "mon" of three diamond shapes, representing a folded piece of paper tied in a knot. This box opens to reveal a two-compartment interior. The inro is suspended on a braided silk (?) cord, which runs through a polished stone (carnelian) ojime and attaches to the mixed metal kagamibuta of the netsuke. The mixed metal scene depicts a musician standing on a bridge playing a flute to the full moon. This flute player is Minamoto no Yoshitane, fabled samurai, pictured on the bridge at Edo (Tokyo) just before his battle with the warrior, Benkei. It's a famous tale in Japan.

Measurements: Inro 2 3/4 inches x 2 1/4 inches x 3/4 inches. Netsuke 1 ½ inches diam.

The overall condition is excellent. Under magnification some minor lacquer losses are visible around the edges of the outer case. The ivory disc has a crack that runs from one edge to the center.

The only large visible loss is a 3mmx3mm loss at the top of one of the tubes through which the cord runs which has exposed the copper core.

The surfaces of the inner lacquered box show some signs of wear from sliding in and out of the frame, and there are very minor chips around the very edges of both the top and bottom of the box that I would categorize as signs of wear rather than actual damage.

The carnelian ojime is in perfect condition. The bowl of the netsuke has an age crack running more than half way through it. See photos.

There is some minor wear to the mixed metal kagamibuta and probably the loss of two inlaid petals in a flower on the kimono. There is fine detailing in the robe of the musician.

Item ID: 4479

$700 USD

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Silver Lion Antiques


Robert Scholnick, Essex, MA   

Offering fine quality antique to contemporary silver, jewelry, object d'art, porcelain, ivory, glass

Member since 2009

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