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The Many Faces of Japan


Sharon Meredith, Austin, TX   

Japanese Vintage Carved Walnut Netsuke of Monks and Dragon MotifJapanese Vintage Carved Walnut Netsuke of Monks and Dragon MotifJapanese Vintage Carved Walnut Netsuke of Monks and Dragon MotifJapanese Vintage Carved Walnut Netsuke of Monks and Dragon MotifJapanese Vintage Carved Walnut Netsuke of Monks and Dragon MotifJapanese Vintage Carved Walnut Netsuke of Monks and Dragon MotifJapanese Vintage Carved Walnut Netsuke of Monks and Dragon MotifJapanese Vintage Carved Walnut Netsuke of Monks and Dragon MotifJapanese Vintage Carved Walnut Netsuke of Monks and Dragon MotifJapanese Vintage Carved Walnut Netsuke of Monks and Dragon Motif

This Japanese vintage walnut netsuke is very delicately hand carved. The walnut is complete covered in carvings with very detailed images of many monks and some flowers. One monk stands with a tiger and a funny faced dragon is wrapped around the netsuke then around some of the monks. It has been lacquered for preservation sake. It has been carved with great detail by a skilled netsuke artist from Japan. It is thought to be about 60 years old by the seller, but I think it looks older due to either the discoloring or the age wear in the crevices between the carvings. Yet, it is in good condition. It has a natural crack. It does have some deeper crevices with discoloring that looks like a chip in a couple of spots, I dare say it can probably be cleaned or polished out and these picture are blown up quite a bit for you to see the details. This does not take away but rather adds to its artistic historical beauty. We do have some different colored thin cords that would fit well through the netsuke hole so one can add an ojime. It is an excellent netsuke of a walnut and has retained its beautiful color.

SIZE: Diameter around 1.5" or 3.81 cms, Height 1.4" or 3.55 cms

Netsuke 根付

Netsuke are miniature sculptures that were invented in 17th-century Japan to serve a practical function (the two Japanese characters netsuke mean "root" and "to attach"). Traditional Japanese garments—robes called kosode and kimono—had no pockets; however, men who wore them needed a place to store their personal belongings, such as pipes, tobacco, money, seals, or medicines.

Their solution was to place such objects in containers (called sagemono) hung by cords from the robes' sashes (obi). The containers may have been pouches or small woven baskets, but the most popular were beautifully crafted boxes (inrō), which were held shut by ojime, which were sliding beads on cords. Whatever the form of the container, the fastener that secured the cord at the top of the sash was a carved, button-like toggle called a netsuke.

Netsuke, like the inrō and ojime, evolved over time from being strictly utilitarian into objects of great artistic merit and an expression of extraordinary craftsmanship. Such objects have a long history reflecting the important aspects of Japanese folklore and life. Netsuke production was most popular during the Edo period in Japan, around 1615-1868. Today, the art lives on, and some modern works can command high prices in the UK, Europe, the USA, Japan and elsewhere. Inexpensive yet faithful reproductions are available in museums and souvenir shops.

Please see the link to Netsuke International in the 'Favorites' links on our home page. It is a good source of information for different types and ages of netsukes.

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Item ID: A1288


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Japanese Vintage Carved Walnut Netsuke of Monks and Dragon Motif

$59 USD SOLD

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The Many Faces of Japan


Sharon Meredith
Austin, TX   

Japanese Antique and Vintage Pottery, Porcelain, Netsuke, Masks, Okimono, Tea Items, Jewelry & More!

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