Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art

A Japanese Ichimatsu Doll â Fully Articulated

A Japanese Ichimatsu Doll – Fully Articulated

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Dolls: Pre 1950: Item # 1038992

Please refer to our stock # 9gg* when inquiring.
This is a winsome Japanese Ichimatsu doll in the form of a small boy in an elaborate silk garment. The doll has glass eyes embedded in his face. The head, arms and legs and are made of gofun - a shining white or skin colored "skin" lacquer made from ground oyster shell and glue.

This charming young fellow has fully articulated arms and legs and can sit up - lie down – raise his arms – and adopt different positions. The doll is in very good condition. Inasmuch as they were usually made for play by Japanese children – as opposed to the display dolls used in events like Girls Day - it is rare to find one in such fine shape.

The Ichimatsu measures 11 ½” from head to toe when fully extended – is 5 ½” wide - and is 3 ¼” thick. There are some tiny chips at the ends of all of its toes and to both thumbs where the gofun has worn off during play. On his nose there is a very tiny frit of missing gofun. The brocaded front of his garment is pristine and the lighter weight sleeved shirt is slightly faded. There is a repair to the upper left arm that can easily be hidden by pulling down the left sleeve. We date the doll to the late Meiji to early Showa period, circa 1910-1930s.

**Japanese traditional dolls are known by the name ningyō in Japan, which literally means human shape. Ichimatsu dolls represent little girls or boys, correctly proportioned and usually with flesh-colored skin and glass eyes. Since the late 19th century the term has applied to child dolls, usually made to hold in the arms, dress, and pose (either with elaborately made joints or with floppy cloth upper arms and thighs). Baby boy dolls with mischievous expressions were most popular in the late 19th and early 20th century.