This Japanese doll looks like a woman from Ukiyo-e (pictures of the "floating world") wood block prints. She is sensual and inviting; posing to fix her hair with a hair pin. To do so, she would need to tilt her head sideways and gently pull out the hair pin so she wll not make a mess of the hairdo. The process takes delicate movement of the fingers and is also a chance to show off the area behind her neck which is considered to be the most sensual place to show for a women wearing a kimono.
This is a beautiful old doll. It is not one of the mass produced dolls of today. On the black lacquer stand, it picks up the black color from her sleeves and hair. Her hair was done in a style that first originated in the 18th Century Yuhri/Yuuri (licensed pleasure quarters) and became popular among other women. A wire is used within her hair to lift the sides, giving it a see-through look. Originally, strips of whale bone were used.
Her kimono and obi sash are hand sewn with silk. The fabrics were probably taken from an old kimono and shows the color loss on her kimono. The obi has some embroideries and is worn in the casual Nagashi style called “Kai (shell) no Kuchi (mouth)”. The Gofun (ground oyster shell mixed with glue) finish on her face has a beautiful age patina. All Kanzashi hair ornaments are made like the real one with Bekko which is tortoise shell.
The last small photo of an eye does not belong to this doll. The photo itself belong to someone else that we need to hear from (please contact us). The doll (on the last photo) is made by the Iki ningyo "living doll" artist, MATSUMOTO Kisaburo and later in 1898 (?) was revived by his disciple, EJIMA Eijiro (late Meiji to early showa). We are not suggesting here that this doll was done by Ejima. When we saw the quality and similar eyes, we wanted to share this photo of great work from the past. The photo may have a copyright. As soon as we hear from the owner, we want to ask for permission of use or a link to the site.
The approx. size of the doll is 11 inches tall sitting on 1/2" thick wood stand. The attachments: Shamisen music instrument (new and plastic) and Tobacco-bon/Kiseru pipe (Taisho to early Showa period, 1920-1940). We have an old mirror/cabinet as an option. Please ask.