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  • We welcome Contempoary Netsuke

  • About World of Netsuke

    About World of Netsuke

    The World of Netsuke is run by collectors for collectors, the hope is to build a go to database where collectors can compare artists and schools to further there own research, and appreciation of all aspects of Netsuke. We will not ask sensitive information from you, just information and pictures about each Netsuke.

    Picture uploading is easy, you do not have to resize your image, a simple shot against a white back drop is all that is needed. If you require some guidance, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

    To contribute your Netsuke to the database it’s a simple upload page. We are happy for all antique Netsuke and contemporary Netsuke within the database. We do not want any modern tourist Netsuke, and these will be evaluated out at the checking stage. If you’re unsure please see our Facebook page where you will see examples of what we don’t allow.  You can also upload photos to Facebook for advice first if you’re not sure.

  • About Netsuke

    About Netsuke

    A netsuke is a small sculptural object which has gradually developed in Japan over a period of more than three hundred years. Netsuke (singular and plural) initially served both functional and aesthetic purposes. The traditional form of Japanese dress, the kimono, had no pockets. Women would tuck small personal items into their sleeves, but men suspended their tobacco pouches, pipes, purses, writing implements, and other items of daily use on a silk cord passed behind their obi (sash). These hanging objects are called sagemono. The netsuke was attached to the other end of the cord preventing the cord from slipping through the obi. A sliding bead (ojime) was strung on the cord between the netsuke and the sagemono to allow the opening and closing of the sagemono.

  • How to Submit

    How to Submit

    How to upload to this website
    Title of item : Add the title

    Description : Enter a description of your Netsuke

    Catergory : Using the drop down menu select the type of Netsuke.  If you’re not sure just enter ‘Netsuke and when it is evaluated it will be done for you.

    Subject : Select from the drop down menu.

    Material : Select the material it is made from and its ageto the best of your knowledge.

    Age/Century :

    Artist :

    Provenance/Owner : Enter the name of any provenance if your Netsuke has been in any noteworthy collections.  If you wish to put your name in you may, however, this is not compulsory, but you will have the benefit of searching your collection by name in the future.

    Signed/Unsigned : choose

    Type :

    Size : Add the details of height, width and depth in mm accordingly.  We ask for your email so we can contact you about your entry if needed, and in the case of an unsuitable Netsuke being added we can contact you about it

    Add photos : Please upload images according to the orientation i.e.front, left, bottom, etc.  Add your pictures to the boxes and press the ‘agreement’ button.  

    Finally press submit and wait a few seconds as the pictures take a moment to upload.  You then see anacceptance page where you have a link to add another item. Once it has gone to the moderator for checking it will then be added to the database.

  • Netsuke Glossary

    Netsuke Glossary

    katabori-netsuke or “sculpture netsuke” – This is the most common type of netsuke. They are compact three-dimensional figures carved in a round shape and are usually around one to three inches high.

    anabori-netsuke or “hollowed netsuke” – subset of katabori which are carved out for a hollow center. Clams are most commonly the motifs for this type of netsuke.

    sashi-netsuke – This is an elongated form of katabori, literally “stab” netsuke, similar in length to the sticks and gourds used as improvised netsuke before carved pieces were produced. They are about six inches long.

    obi-hasami – another elongated netsuke with a curved top and bottom. It sits behind the obi with the curved ends visible above and below the obi.

    manju-netsuke – a thick, flat, round netsuke, with carving usually done in relief, sometimes made of two ivory halves. Shaped like a manju, a Japanese confection.

    ryusa-netsuke – shaped like a manjū, but carved like lace, so that light is transmitted through the item.

    kagamibuta-netsuke or “mirror-lid netsuke” – shaped like a manjū, but with a metal disc serving as a lid to a shallow bowl, usually of ivory. The metal is often highly decorated with a wide variety of metallurgical techniques.

    karakuri-netsuke or “trick/mechanism netsuke” – any netsuke that has moving parts or hidden surprises.

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