DESCRIPTION: A well carved and highly detailed Chinese boxwood toggle of a fish, a symbol in China of wealth and success, with fine scale detailing, a large head and the tail fin curved upward. The hole in the mouth serves as the point of attachment for the cord with the cord knot being concealed within the slit opening in the belly of the fish. Excellent condition; 19th C. DIMENSIONS: 2.75” long (7 cm).
ABOUT CHINESE TOGGLES: Chinese toggles (Guajian) are the precursors of the Japanese netsuke by many centuries, and acted as counter weights to hang objects from the belt or sash. As the apparel of pre-modern China did not include pockets, toggles were attached by a cord to personal items such as tobacco pouches, pipes, eating sets, money or other items. Usually worn by men, they are most often made of wood, but toggles can also be found in jade, ivory, various metals and semiprecious stone. These beautiful folk objects reflected the expression and identity of their creators, and became amulets that were worm, fondled, and cherished for their ability to bestow good fortune, longevity, fertility, happiness and health.