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Japanese, Netsuke: Ikebana, bamboo vase with roses, ivory, late 19th century. 1 5/8 x 1 7/16 x 1/2 in. Gallery 10
Part of a recent gift from donor Richard Silverman, this netsuke would have served as a way to fasten a box for belongings to a man’s kimono sash. Shorter than two inches tall, this intricately-carved piece of ivory is a ryusa netsuke, which means that it is cut through to the other side to allow light to pass through it. The ivory that remains is carved in the shape of an ikebana (“living flowers”) arrangement made up of a bamboo vase and roses. This netsuke, along with hundreds of others, is now highlighted in the newly installed netsuke display in Gallery 10.
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