Early 19c netsuke KENDO HELMET breastplate, seashells
Listed Price $1,400.00
Early 19th century netsuke carved as a Japanese martial arts MEN (kendo helmet) resting on a DŌ (breast protector) surrounded by a pile of seashells. Unique subject, a bit of a zen puzzle waiting for an answer. The helmet with a metal grill (men-gane) is used to protect the face and has a series of hard leather and fabric flaps to protect the throat and sides of the neck and shoulders. Wonderful use of anabori (cavern carving) - the inside of the grill is hollowed and the folds of the flaps carved in there. Incredible wealth of mollusk shells that include a cowrie, 2 types of oysters, a murex, a triton, a scallop, an abalone, 3 types of clams and a turrid. Excellent carving, superb detailing of shapes and textures, clever compact shape, beautiful wear and patina turning deeper yellow on the back where the netsuke was touching the silk of kimono. Length 1 9/16 inches.
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