Inro with ojime

Made:
1850-1915 in Japan
maker:
Unknown

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Science Museum Group Collection
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Ivory inro, rectangular body, oval in cross-section, pull apart in centre forming a receptacle and lid, with a cord running through 2 side tubes, cord completed with coral bead (ojime), body inlaid with gold, Japanese, before 1916

An inro is a small decorative container. It carries items such as medicines or tobacco from the sash of a kimono. A kimono is a traditional form of Japanese dress. Inro were usually worn in conjunction with carved toggles called netsuke. They were often made from ivory or bone. They were considered objects of status. This beautiful box is made of a lacquered ivory with gold inlay depicting a small waterside dwelling. A traditional fishing boat is on the reverse. The box pulls apart at the centre to form a receptacle and lid. A cord runs through the ‘himotoshi’. This Japanese term is used for the holes on each side of the compartment.

Details

Category:
Oriental Medicine
Object Number:
A641987
Materials:
complete, coral, gold (metal), ivory, string (fibre product)
type:
inro
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • sagemono
  • bead - pierced object
credit:
Glendining
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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