Ito-in netsuke

18th century

6.3 x 3.7 cm

A stag antler "silk seal" netsuke

 

Ito-in are among the oldest netsuke. Originally used as seals for the silks commerced in the port of Hakata near Nagasaki, they all have similar features: the subject is almost invariably a head of a stranger - European or Asian - deformed to adapt to the stag shape. These figures, called "konronjin" bear a fierce expression, maybe becuse they were used also to incute fear to the superstitious local workers who might be tempted to steal the silks. 

The missing seal was stored in the cavity underneath.

Netsuke for sale. Price on application. Please include item stock number: net1162

 

 

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