Inrô with ojime and netsuke of Kajikawa school - ROM2005_1576_6


Inrô with ojime and netsuke of Kajikawa school

Medium:Carved and lacquered wood, maki-e and kirigane gilding, mother-of-pearl inlay, copper-alloy ojime
Geography: Japan
Date: 18th Century
Period: Edo period
2.9 x 10 x 4.7 cm
Object number: 936.22.4
Credit Line: This purchase was made possible with the support of The Reuben Wells Leonard Bequest Fund.
On view
Gallery Location:Bishop White Gallery of Chinese Temple Art
DescriptionDecorative art in miniature format attained an unrivalled level of sophistication in Japan. Inro and netsuke are the best known examples of this diminutive art, and have become popular collectors' items in the West. Originally used to carry powdered medicine, inrô are small, tiered containers made mainly of lacquered wood and bound together by a cord. Men wore the inrô as an accessory suspended by a cord from the sash of a kimono, the traditional Japanese robe. A netsuke, an intricate miniature sculpture, was attached at the top end of the cord to prevent the inrô from slipping. Netsuke, carved from materials such as wood, ivory, amber, bone, and stag antler, display an endless variety of subject matter and often a delightful sense of humour. This Inrô has a black roiro ground, with an all-over decoration of butterflies and dragonflies in flight in gold, red and silver hiramakie and takamakie and kirigane gilding. Some of the eyes are inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Greyish-blue braided cotton cord links the object, and there is an attached cylindrical copper alloy ojime with carved design of prunus trees, and a wooden netsuke in shape of a beehive with a few movable larvae of wood and ivory.
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