Japan, ca. 18th century CE. This is a wooden netsuke carved from a root in the form of a three-dimensional buffalo curled up to sleep. His body is decorated with spirals. This is a beautiful example of using a found object to create something both beautiful and functional. Size: 0.5" W x 1.5" H (1.3 cm x 3.8 cm)
The netsuke is an example of the art of everyday objects. They are small sculptures designed to be worn so that objects could be suspended from the traditional sash (obi) that wraps around the kimono. They were used to carry purses, smoking accoutrement, and inro, "seal baskets", which held seals and medicines. The netsuke, made with two holes through it, was used as a toggle to stop the cord on which those items were suspended.
Provenance: Ex NY Coll.
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