VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Netsuke
RKM 96-1906
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This example is a Narabori piece by Shuzan–Nagamachi who was active at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It is one of the masterpieces in the Röhsska Museum Oriental collection. Per Dahlström, Curator, Röhsska Museum

History of the Object
Netsukes took on their design back in the sixteenth century when people began hanging purses, medicine boxes, writing implements, tobacco pouches and suchlike from the kimono’s sash. Small buttons called netsuke were used to fasten them to the sash. Originally a simple piece of wood with two holes for fastening cords, the netsuke’s design and motif universe continued to advance. Skillful sculptors and craftsmen developed the netsuke from merely being a useful article into an "objet d'art". The netsuke became an expensive fashion accessory and status symbol worn by feudal overlords, samurai and merchants. When Japan was opened to the West during the second half of the nineteenth century the netsuke became a valued collector’s item for well-to-do westerners. There are many different materials and types of motif represented in the large Röhsska Museum netsuke collection. This netsuke, depicting Ryu-Jin, the deity of the sea, is an example from the collection of painted netsuke. According to legend, Ryu-Jin is an ancestor of the Japanese Imperial family who lived in a palace of red and white coral at the bottom of the sea, whence he controlled the tides with the aid of magic gems.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Wood 
Measurements
Height 11 cm  
Creator name
Shuzan–Nagamachi, (Shuzan II) 
Creator date
ca 18-19th entury 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century; early 19th Century 
Function
Netsukes took on their design back in the sixteenth century when people began hanging purses, medicine boxes, writing implements, tobacco pouches and suchlike from the kimono’s sash. Small buttons called netsuke were used to fasten them to the sash. 
Acquisition
Purchased as part of Fredrik Martin’s collection, 1905. 
Copyright
The Röhsska Museum 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
The Röhsska Museum 
Museum
The Röhsska Museum, of Design, Fashion and Decorative Arts 
Credit line
 

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