Netsuke, toggle of ivory

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made in Japan

Postcard of Netsuke, toggle of ivory.
© National Museums Scotland

Netsuke, toggle of ivory

This netsuke is made of ivory carved into the shape of a clam shell with a palace inside. A netsuke is used to fasten an inro, a small lacquered container, which hung from the sash of a man's kimono. They became miniature art forms in their own right.

This detail shows the partially open clam revealing a group of small buildings, a bridge and figures representing the palace of the dragon king of the sea. The mirage is caused by the clam's breath rising above the waters also known as the clam's dream.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-002-116-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1946.363
Date: 19th century
Material: Ivory
Dimensions: 1.88" W
What: Netsuke
Subject: Netsuke / ivory
Where: Japan
Description: Netsuke of carved ivory, the Clam's Dream: Japan, 19th century
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