Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

Wooden netsuke, Japan, 1701-1900

Science Museum, London
  • Digital Images
  • Online

Available online

view Wooden netsuke, Japan, 1701-1900

Licence

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
You can use this work for any purpose, including commercial uses, without restriction under copyright law. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.
Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
Credit: Wooden netsuke, Japan, 1701-1900. Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Selected images from this work


About this work

Description

This tiny wooden netsuke is in the form of a decapitated man’s head. It is highly detailed for such a tiny object. His hair is swept in to a top-knot, veins bulge on his forehead and the vessels in his severed neck are clear and anatomically correct. Beheading was a common punishment in Japan. Perhaps this netsuke illustrates a certain level of black humour. 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. Japanese characters carved on the netsuke show it was carved by an individual called Keizan. maker: Keizan Place made: Japan


Permanent link