Antique musician dolls for the Japanese Hina Matsuri Festival (Girl’s Day) which is held every March third. Displayed with the ladies-in-waiting, ministers and servants dolls, they are the entertainers of the Imperial Court.
The dolls are from early 1900s, the late Meiji period to early Showa period. The body is made out of straw, old glass eyes and their faces (wood or wood powder) are covered with layers of gofun (white surface coating made out of ground oyster shell and animal glue). No damages to the faces or heads but there is gofun missing from the tips of some fingers. These dolls have quite expressive faces unlike that of other common dolls and each doll is carrying a sword.
Two dolls on the stools are 8 inches tall sitting on bamboo stools. The three seated dolls are 6 1/2 inches tall and some are approx. 10 inches wide with sleeves opened. The size of the dolls appears smaller in the photos than the actual size.