This is a very old late Edo period wood netsuke of a gourd and is about 150 years old. It is made of a hard, dark wood. This is the perfect size for attaching to an inro as part of a sagemono. As you can see from the pictures it is in excellent antique condition. It is a purchase from a trusted dealer in Japan. A netsuke is an ornamental button for suspending a to a pouch instead of a wallet in pre-westernization days in Japan. Sometimes it was used to attach to a pill box.
SIZE : Length 1.6" or 4.06 cms Diameter at widest 1" or 2.54 cms Weight 10 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 are 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. There is a good picture of this on the Wiki page. 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.
Above Excerpts are From Wiki
There are many good sources of information about netsuke online and in books. Please see the link to Netsuke International on our home page. It is a good source of information for different types and ages of netsukes.
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Because we have netsuke in many different categories, the best way to find them all at once is use the search word "Netsuke" in the top right hand corner of the page.
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