Inrô with two compartments in black lacquer and decoration in hiramaki-e and mother-of-pearl inlays on a hirameiji background, representing a bouquet of chrysanthemums in a pouch, a butterfly net on the reverse side, a butterfly in flight on each side. The interior is in hirameiji lacquer.
The chrysanthemum is the emblem of imperial family. It is also a symbol of longevity.
Ojime in bronze with three concave sides. Two of the sides are decorated with two pawlonia flowers each, one of which is inscribed in a fan.
Pawlonia is a tree native to China, its representation is very important in Japon. In the archipelago, it is customary to plant a pawlonia tree at the birth of a daughter. Its wood is then used to make objects that constitute her dowry. According to Chinese legend, the mythical bird Phoenix, lands only on a branch of pawlonia when it comes to earth. Signed Ryôshutsu (凌出) with a crescent moon.
Exceptional mother-of-pearl netsuke in the form of a stylized cloud. Decorated above with two agate peonies and two serpentine cherry blossoms, nephrite foliage and butterfly. Underneath, butterfly and peony. Apocryphal signature.
The peony and the cherry blossom have a very strong symbolism in Japan. The first one is considered as the queen of flowers in Japan. It symbolizes the feminine ideal and the protective force. The blossoming of the cherry tree over a short period of time marks the beginning of spring, and is a symbol of renewal and the ephemeral nature of beauty.
Japan, Edo period (1603-1868)
Height: 2.2 in. (5.5 cm) – Width: 2.88 in. (7.3 cm)