Inrô with ojime and netsuke - ROM2005_1576_8


Inrô with ojime and netsuke

Medium:Lacquered wood with fundame, nashiji and kirigane maki-e gilding, and ivory netsuke
Geography: Japan
Date: 1760-1868 AD
Period: Edo period
3.1 x 10 x 5.1 cm
Object number: 936.22.5
Credit Line: This purchase was made possible with the support of The Reuben Wells Leonard Bequest Fund.
Not on view
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 fundame and nashiji ground, decorated in gold and coloured hiramakie and takamakie with a scene from the Tale of Ise, of courtiers and attendants standing in front of a large waterfall in a mountain landscape with various trees. Greyish-purple braided cotton cord connects the components, with an attached amber bead ojime, and an ivory netsuke carved with a heavenly maiden in clouds.
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