Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    later 19th Century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Kou (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved ivory with staining

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The netsuke is a toggle. Japanese men used netsuke to suspend various pouches and containers from their sashes by a silk cord. Netsuke had to be small and not too heavy, yet bulky enough to do the job. They needed to be compact with no sharp protruding edges, yet also strong and hardwearing. Above all, they had to have the means for attaching a cord. Netsuke were made in a variety of forms, the most widely appreciated being the katabori (shape carving), a three-dimensional carving, such as this one in the form of grasses by the light of the moon.

This design is often associated with Japanese lacquerwork.

Physical description

This carved and stained ivory netsuke is in the form of grasses by the light of the moon.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


later 19th Century (made)


Kou (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Carved ivory with staining


Diameter: 4.5 cm

Descriptive line

Netsuke of the moon with clouds and autumn plants, carved ivory, signed Kou, 19th century, Japan





Subjects depicted

Plants, Grasses; Moon




East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.