Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Netsuke

Netsuke

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Shuraku (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ivory and metal

  • Museum number:

    M.1387-1926

  • 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 were made in a variety of forms, this one being an example of the kagamibuta (mirror lid) type. As the name suggests, it consists of two parts, a bowl and a lid resembling a traditional East Asian mirror. While the bowl is usually undecorated and made of ivory, the metal lid is the focal point of decoration.

In order to produce increasingly imaginative and inventive netsuke, carvers often used designs from books or prints. In this example, the artist has faithfully copied the main design from a page of Manga (Random sketches), a book by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). It shows a man, grimacing and gesticulating, ensnared in the tentacles of an octopus.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)

Date

ca. 1850-1900 (made)

Artist/maker

Shuraku (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Ivory and metal

Dimensions

Depth: 4.2 cm

Descriptive line

Netsuke of an octopus catching a fisherman, ivory bowl, shibuichi metal and gold disc, signed Shuraku, ca. 1850-1900

Materials

Ivory; Metal

Techniques

Carving

Subjects depicted

Man; Octopus

Categories

Accessories

Collection

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.