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  • Place of origin:

    Hirado (Uncertain, made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain glazed and enamelled

  • Credit Line:

    Clarke-Thornhill Gift

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Japan, Room 45, The Toshiba Gallery, case 8

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.

This netsuke was probably produced in the Hirado kilns in Kyushu. The combination of an insect on fruit was a common theme and a symbol of impermanence. It was a particularly popular motif for netsuke carvers.

Physical description

This glazed and enamelled porcelain netsuke is in the form of an aubergine and spider.

Place of Origin

Hirado (Uncertain, made)


19th century (made)


Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Porcelain glazed and enamelled


Length: 5.6 cm

Descriptive line

Netsuke, porcelain glazed and enamelled with aubergine and spider, Japan, 19th century.




Glazed; Enamelled

Subjects depicted

Spider; Aubergine




East Asia Collection

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