Japanese swords, £18.00
Wooden netsuke, a Dutchman and a cockerel
Edo period, 18th-19th century AD
The Dutch were the only Westerners allowed permanent residence in Japan from 1639 when the policy of sakoku ('closed country') was imposed by the third Tokugawa shōgun, Iemitsu (1604-51). They were regarded as curiosities and often treated together with mythological and historical subjects as figures of fun - suitable subjects for the netsuke carver.
The Dutch lived in a small compound on the man-made island of Deshima in Nagasaki Bay. There they had a small botanical garden, including herbs and fruit trees and kept numbers of domestic animals and fowl including chickens.