A finely thrown and molded pottery candlestick in the shape of woman with a basket on her head – quite possibly a depiction of an Ainu woman. The basket acts as the holder for the metal pricket that holds the candle and also doubles as a drip pan for the melted wax. Candlesticks in the shape of people enjoyed a popularity in the late Edo and early Meiji period. This one is clearly wheel thrown as evidenced by the string cut marks on the base where the piece was cut from the potter’s wheel - then was hand finished to get the details such as the incised design on the body and the details to the arms, eyes and eyebrows. The candlestick measures 11 3/4" high and is 5" wide by 3" deep excellent condition with no cracks or chips or restorations. We date the piece to the early Meiji period, circa 1870-1890.