Japan, 18th century, early 19th XIX - inv. 5600

not signed, Japan

Dutchman with Two Karako
late 18th, early 19th century
7,8x3,0x2,5 cm
2005 bequest Maria Taglietti Lanfranchi
Inv. 5600

Netsuke depicting a Dutchman with long curly hair, dressed with large collar and a horn in his right hand; accompanied by two "Chinese children" (karako, 唐 子), one of them clinging on his shoulders, the other clinging to the belt surrounding his waist. The two holes of the himotoshi one of larger diameter than the other are arranged on the back of the figure, between the pelvis and legs.

The models for the representation of foreigners were developed mainly in Nagasaki, where many lived in the eighteenth century and where various prints that depicted them were published. In this netsuke, probably made between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and perhaps in the area of Kyoto, the theme of Dutchman mixes with the Chinese one of the that child brings good-luck: it is therefore a testament to the character of pure exoticism that this type of images assumed in the eyes of the Japanese, who did not care at all to make distinctions between the various foreigners as rarely they had a chance to see live.