The Freud Museum

Netsuke in the form of a Shishi

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4028, Netsuke in the form of a Shishi, Edo Period; 18th - 19th century

Artist: Photographer: Ardon Bar Hama
Culture: Japanese
Material: Ivory
Dimensions: 2 x 1 3/8 x 1 in / 5 x 3.5 x 2.5 cm.

This netsuke is in the shape of a shishi, the Japanese version of the Buddhist lion-dog. A netsuke is a toggle at the end of a cord by which Japanese men would carry personal items such as tobacco pouches and pipes. Originally these toggles were made of wood, but over time became more decorative and made of finer materials, such as ivory, like this one. The craftsman who made this piece demonstrates his skill by carving a separate piece for the tongue.

See this object on our Collections site here 

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