Inro butterflies

Japan – Meiji (1868-1912) 
Height 9,5 cm – Lenght 5,5 cm – Width 3 cm 
Netsuke :  Lenght : 5cm – Height : 3,1cm
Inro are small divided boxes suspended from the belt which are a part of sagemono (suspended objects). Indeed, their use was developed to solve the lack of pocket in kimonos.
This one is in black lacquer strewed with makibokashi (This technique, which literally means ” to strew with gradations ” is a fine gold dust sprayed in a more or less dense way, creating a cloudy effect on the content or the lacquered decoration). It is decorated with floral motives in gilded maki-e. The leaves are decorated with kirigane (Small squares and rectangles cuted from gold or silver sheets intended to form a mosaic).
We notice two butterflies, a flying one in gilded maki-e, and an other one it in Aogai (Mother-of-pearl in blue-green tints resulting from the burgau shellfish) gathering nectar on one of the branches. The other side has a black lacquered background strewed with maki-bokashi and is ornamented with a meandering stream in perspective. To the left it is lined with a rock whereas to the right they are the same branches as on the front face. Two butterflies fly towards the branches, they are also in aogai. The inside is in gilded nashiji (golden granular surface which reminds a Japanese variety of pears. It consists in pulverizing flakes of gold or silver of variables size and colors when the lacquer is still fresh, then the whole is covered with a yellow-red varnish). The ojime is in white glass decorated with a red motive. The inro carries a netsuke: Japanese clothing object which is used as a counterweight to inro. The inro is in ivory and represents two smiling, squatted men and petting the stomach of a lying monkey. He bears a signature.