Netsuke

DEFINITION

In Japanese art, a belt toggle (literally "root for fastening"), often carved ivory or wood, and traditionally used to secure a purse or small container suspended on a silk cord from the sash of a kimono, because most kimono were without pockets. Introduced in the late 17th century, their heyday waned in the late 19th century, with the acceptance of Westernized styles of clothing. Netsuke represent a wide variety of subjects, with many in the form of animals, flowers, characters from religion, or mythology, No or Kabuki theater, usually no more than three inches high.

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