Wooden netsuke, in the form of two seated skeletons, one seated behind the other with his hands on the other's shoulders, Japanese, 1701-1900
Skeletons often appear in netsuke. They are sometimes in quite comic poses. This tiny wooden netsuke is in the form of two seated skeletons. The one behind has his hands on the other’s shoulders. The meaning of the imagery is uncertain. The netsuke was made in Japan.
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 and were usually made from wood, ivory or porcelain.
- Asian Medicine
- Object Number:
- netsuke, costume (personal accessories), ethnography (general), costume (personal accessories), ethnography (general), netsuke, skeleton
- visual and verbal communication
- animal remains
- Loan: Wellcome Trust
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