Oni with Tabako-ire - 5659

Not signed, Japan

Oni with Tabako-ire
late 19th century
ivory   turtle  
3,5x3,2x3,7 cm
2005 bequest Maria Taglietti Lanfranchi
Inv. 5659

This netsuke-okimono represents a little demon (oni, 鬼) dressed in a garment with a stylized floral arabesque decoration; he is carrying on his shoulders  a tobacco pouch  (tabakoire, 煙草入), from which appears a pipe-case (kiseruzutsu, 煙管筒. He holds it by the cord (himo) between the ojime and the manju type netsuke.  Part of the bag and the outside of the netsuke are covered by a thin layer of turtle shell (bekko, 鼈甲), probably applied on a base of red lacquer.
The tortoiseshell was obtained from the sea turtle, common especially in the sea near to Okinawa and Taiwan. As an artistic material, it was used for netsuke, during the Meiji period (1868-1912).