Wooden Netsuke, Man Seated at Water Wheel, 18th century


Title: A wooden netsuke of a man seated at a water wheel.
Carver: Unsigned
Date: 18th century
Dimensions: (L) 4.1 x (H) 3.5 x (D) 2 cm

Original Japanese antique.

Netsuke of ordinary people were often represented with a sense of humour. This one shows a man bent over a water wheel, possibly using this tool in his craft.

Netsuke were practical fashion accessories worn by Japanese men of the Edo period (1615-1868). Kimono has no pockets, and only women's garments had places in the sleeve to keep small objects. In contrast, men would carry their personal accessories by hanging them from the sash wrapped around their waist. Netsuke would therefore act as a 'toggle' that kept the sash hanging by preventing it from slipping.

Like many other art forms, netsuke reflect the nature of the society that produced them, displaying every aspect of Japanese culture, including its rich folklore and religion, crafts, trades, and professions, all types of people and creatures, both real and imagined, and every kind of object.

More Information
Dimensions (L) 4.1 x (H) 3.5 x (D) 2 cm
Condition ReportWell-worn with external areas showing aged wood patina. Dust on the surface.
SubjectSamurai & Male, Others
Product Date18th century