Ivory netsuke, in the form of a skeleton, perhaps representing death, strangling a man, Japanese, 1701-1900
Netsuke are toggle-like ornaments. They hang objects such as medicine boxes or tobacco pouches from the sash of a kimono – a traditional form of Japanese dress. Netsuke carving is a form of miniature sculpture which developed in Japan over several hundred years. They were often beautifully decorated with elaborate carving, lacquer work, or inlays. They were made from wood, ivory or porcelain.
This tiny ivory netsuke was made in Japan. It is in the alarming form of a skeleton attempting to strangle a human-like figure. The figure appears to be either terrified or enraged and the sinister skeleton may represent death, as is common in European art.
- Oriental Medicine
- Object Number:
- netsuke, costume (personal accessories), ethnography (japanese), costume (personal accessories), ethnography (japanese), male, netsuke, skeletons
- visual and verbal communication
- Loan: Wellcome Trust
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.