This Antique Japanese Edo Boxwood Netsuke of Reishi Mushroom was made in the late Edo period of the early 1800's, sometime between 1800-1868. We collected it from Japan. It is a wonderful piece and a great netsuke. Reishi mushroom is known worldwide for its medicinal properties. Studies have been done in Japan, China and the USA. It is known for treating many diseases and illnesses, including everything from the liver to the immune system. Many related articles can be found, just remember to take them all wit a great of salt and consult your local pharmacist. The mushroom name for Reishi is Ganoderma lucidum. This was hand carved by a Japanese netsuke artist. It is very well made with great form of three mushrooms. I tried but my pictures do not do it justice. It does not stand straight, although one could use museum wax for this. The himotoshi holes or holes used for the cord to run through the netsuke are natural in the carving. It is an excellent piece in great condition as one can see, I enhanced the pictures several times.
It has no cracks or chips just expected age wear for something 150+ years old. Please see the pictures and ask any questions. We are non-house smokers and do not smoke around our wares and our very careful with them to have clean hands and in the packing. We have noticed smells from items received before and try not to include these in our inventory, again please let us know if you have any questions. This one has no smells, this is from a well- known and honest, quality antiques dealer.
SIZE: Height 1.6 inches or 4 cm, Width 1.2 inches or 3 cm, Depth 1.4 inches or 3.5 cm, Weight oz or grams
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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