- Museum number
Netsuke. Sphere with tiger and bamboo. Made of ivory, with eyes inlaid in dark horn. Signed.
- Production date
- Mid 19thC
Diameter: 3.30 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Netsuke with tiger and bamboo design
Ivory and horn, about 1850
Inro and netsuke
During the Edo period(1615-1868)
government officials from the samurai class routinely made laws that regulated what clothing and luxury items people could own and wear. This depended on their social rank.
As a result, merchants and townpeople usually wore clothes of dark silk or cotton with simple patterns. To compensate, they spent their welth on lavish accessories such as inro (small compartmented boxes) and netsuke (minutely carved toggles), which they kept partially hidden in the folds of their clothing.
Inro were often used to carry small personal items such as herebal medicine and seals.
(Label copy, 2017)
Tigers and bamboo have often been depicted together in Japanese art, symbolizing complementary aspects of strength. The thiger has aggressive strength, while the gentle but firm bamboo will bend but not break. Here the carver, Mitsuhiro, shows off his mastery of various techniques through the details covering this small shpere. (NT 2015)
- On display (G93/dc6/sG)
- Exhibition history
On Display April 2017. Mitsubishi Galleries Japan Past to Present.
- Acquisition date
- Registration number