Lovely inro with plum blossom design in lacquer with a kagamibuta netsuke in ivory and brass depicting Daruma. The cording and ojime are incorrect and only serve to keep the peices together.
Daruma is often shown in a comical light in Japanese art. Daruma was the founder of Zen Bhuddism and there are many legends that surround him, one being that when he fell asleep during a session of meditation, he cut off his eyelids, threw them away and the first tea plants sprouted where the eyelids landed. He is often shown with wide open eyes and no arms or legs.
The iro appears to have only two compartments until a hidden compartment is discovered under a small tray.
This is a pair of dishes which I believe may have been used for incense. One side of each dish has a bat and the other side appear to have a seedling depicted. These have a lovely, rich brown patina from age. Each dish measures 5 1/8" by 3 inches and approximately 1/2" deep.
This is an elegant carving in ivory of a geisha. She is 5 5/8" tall and holding a purse and wearing a traditional Japanese kimono. Ther is some signs of age, the base is cracked, along with several cracks throughout her torso and face, but that is the nature of old ivory. The fingers are broken from her hand and I imagine at one time she held a parisol. The carving is exquisite even with these age related issues.
Face is carved with a lovely expression and balance. You can see the damage to the hand in this photo.
Ivory tiger netsuke with matching boxwood ojime. The ojime is a small
bead used to keep the inro tightly closed. Both are from the artist
Yoshiyama, a 20th century netsuke carver. The have inlaid black eyes.
The detail even on the part of the netsuke that would not show during use. Signed Yoshiyama.
Small ojime is exquisitely carved in the same style as the netsuke. Also signed Yoshiyama.
I found this lovely hairpin among my fathers collection. It is a very pale green jade and appears to be in the shape of a kogai. The end is scooped and could be used as an earpick (I'm not sure if that is what it was intended for).
Netsuke are small carvings often made out of ivory, bone, rosewood and ebony. They were used with tobacco pouches and small boxes called inro. The netsuke would act as a toggle and keep the pouches from sliding through the obi on the kimono. During the Edo period, the craft of netsuke reached it's height. My father had a fairly large collection and the below netsuke is one of my personal favorites. It is of an elegantly carved locust in ivory.