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Netsuke: A Guide for Collectors
Mary L. O'Brien
Netsuke: A Guide for Collectors approaches the subject of Japanese nestuke from the point of view of the amateur collector rather than that of an owner discussing his own accomplished collection.
Ever since Japan's emergence a little over a century ago from her long period of seclusion under Tokugawa rule, netsuke have exerted an almost irresistible attraction for Western collectors. These tiny carvings-exquisite in detail, charming in conception, and delightful for the sheer tactual pleasure to be experienced in handling them-captivated admirers of Japanese art and craftsmanship. Basically, netsuke were utilitarian in purpose, for they were designed to serve as pendants or toggles to support medicine boxes, writing cases, smoking equipment, and similar articles worn suspended by a cord from the obi-a practical device since the kimono had no pockets. At first quite primitive in design, they soon became more and more sophisticated, and their carvers turned increasingly to the legendary of Japan and China for inspiration and subject matter.
This fascinating book is a wonderful introduction to this classic Japanese art and will be invaluable for both professional collections and amateurs alike.
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