(the Japanese characters net and suke mean "root" and "to attach", is pronounced "netski") are small carved button-like toggles, that secure the inro cord to the sash.
I expected that a ceramic artist like de Waal, whose work appears in museum collections around the globe, would be curious about the craftsmanship and condition of the netsuke
In one scene, towards the end of Netsuke
, the main character, whose worlds are beginning to collide, suddenly notices, with unease, a statue of the Hindu goddess Kali, stationed in a corner of his house.
collectors the world over value the form's intricately carved detail and imaginatively rendered subject matter, these objects were originally designed to serve a practical purpose.
All four are wistful cantos of mutability, depictions of how even the lofty, beautiful and fabulously wealthy can crack and shatter as easily as Faberge glass or Meissen porcelain--or, sometimes, be as tough and enduring as netsuke
, those little Japanese figurines carved out of ivory or boxwood.
Although he was fully occupied in running the family business for most of his adult life, he started collecting netsuke
as he neared retirement age.
have not only invaded popular online trading sites like eBay but also appeared in some of the world's most prestigious auction houses, said Robert Fleischel, an internationally known expert on netsuke
The first afternoon, as I recall, was spent exploring Alastair's superb collection of netsuke
, small, but exquisitely carved objects I had read about, but had never had a chance to hold in my hands and examine closely.
Twenty works of animal art from DaVinci's drawings to Japanese netsuke
provide an early learner's set of lessons on art.
I'd like to think of my forbears working away, ant-like, at the hard angularities of Ulster speech, forging them into immensely profound insights, sculpting out of 'broken flags' something as intricately and elegantly carved as a piece of netsuke
Rita McLean, head of museums and heritage services, said: "We are delighted at the return of our rare Japanese netsuke
after so many years and would like to thank Dr Seegers and the Cologne police for their help.
However, on the day, she revealed her true colours with a comfortable two-and-a-half-length victory from Netsuke
, herself a 66-1 shot.
Also strong was the cerebral Netsuke
, with Battson again as librettist to Rose Bolton's score.
are tiny sculptures used to secure pouches to the kimono and have long been collected around the world.
In one display wall for Japanese netsuke
, for example, the configuration of individual slotted shelves drew its inspiration from the linear flow of a landscape scroll painting.