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Netsuke in form of woman and child

This tiny ivory netsuke is in the form of a woman standing before a mortar. A pestle is in her hand and a child stands opposite. She could be grinding food or mixing a pharmacological preparation. The netsuke was made in Japan. Netsuke are carved toggle-like ornaments, usually made from either wood or ivory. They hang objects such as medicine boxes or tobacco pouches from the sash of a kimono – a traditional form of Japanese dress. This figure is signed underneath with Japanese characters. These indicate the individual craftsman.

Object number:

A69785

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    Glossary: Traditional Chinese Medicine

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a medical tradition originating in China, but now used worldwide. Treatments include herbal medicine, massage and acupuncture, which are combined to create a therapy tailored to the patient.

    Glossary: netsuke

    Small ornamental object carved in wood or ivory. Netsuke were used as toggles (buttons) for Japanese kimonos or pouches in the 1600s.