Japanese and Chinese antiques and art from B & C
Three Meiji Ladies-in-Waiting Hina Dolls

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Dolls: Pre 1920: item # 54806

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B & C   Antiques
P. O. Box 291
Derby, CT 06418

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Three Meiji Ladies-in-Waiting Hina Dolls
Three standing Japanese ladies-in-waiting Girl’s Day Festival (“Hina matsuri”) dolls on black lacquer base with six-panel gold folding screen. Meiji period. Their expressive faces have several layers of gofun, with delicately painted hairlines, eyelashes and eyebrows. Their mouths are open, showing teeth and tongue, and they have inset glass eyes. There are signatures on the wood stems of their removable heads. Their beautiful gray silk brocade outer kimonos, lined in red silk, bear diminutive designs of auspicious symbols. Their white and red silk inner garments have eight layers at their necks, and the red under-kimonos are really long trousers. Long bound silk hair trails down their backs. Two ladies hold brass sake servers, and the third lady holds a ceremonial lacquer tray for serving sake. This March 3rd festival honors girls with an elaborate display of dolls of the imperial court set up in their homes on a stepped display stand. The second step of the display holds the three ladies-in-waiting who are there to serve sake to the emperor and empress on the top step. Hina dolls were considered works of art to be admired and appreciated and were never played with. After the holiday display, they were wrapped up and stored for the rest of the year, which has kept them in very good condition. Exceptions: slight cracking under the chin of one doll’s face; some gofun loss on the neck stem of another doll. Dolls are 7” high, screen is 23˝” x 10˝”, base is 14” x 5” x 2” high.

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