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Inro Ensemble with Katabori Netsuke

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Japan Anonymous, Japanese
Inro Ensemble with Katabori Netsuke, 19th c.
Lacquer on Wood
3 1/2 in. x 3 in. x 3/4 in. (8.89 cm x 7.62 cm x 1.91 cm)

Object Type: Decorative Arts
Technique: Lacquered
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Edward Nagel
Accession Number: 71.1.412

Inro: 3.5” x 3” x 0.75” Ojime: 0.5” x 0.5” x 0.5” Netsuke: 2” x 1.25” x 0.6”

No marks.

Carved and lacquered wood with abalone inlay, glass ojime.

Object Description
4-tiered inro piece with a depiction of gold-robed Fukurokujo, god of longevity with oversized bamboo cane, and two herons with gold painted legs on opposing side. Amber ojime bead and carved and painted wood netsuke of male child with bucket.

Depicted on the inro is Fukurokujo, god of longevity, hence his depiction with a bamboo cane, also symbolic of longevity. The crane is also symbolic of longevity, and was thought not only to be long-lived but also to be the bearer of dead souls and immortals into other worlds. (Goodall, 255) A grouping of cranes such as those on this inro signified a multiplied desire for longevity.

The use of thin slices of highly iridescent pearl shell in lacquer is known as the Somada technique. In this particular inro, the mother-of-pearl inlay was imported from New Zealand or Mexico and shaped with a metal stamp.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image Inro Side 2
Inro Side 2

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