Friday, May 30, 2008
Round Robin Photo Challenge: Tiny
We're entering the world of the small today, so here is an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, Chinese boat-like carving thingy.
Check out the window shutters here; they actually open and close.
The characters in the writing on the bottom are only a couple of millimeters tall. I have no clue what it says, but if anyone out there can translate it I'd love to know.
My aunt gave me this years ago, but she didn't say where it came from. Members of my family served as Marines in the Korean War and in Japan in World War ll, so it may have been sent back by one or the other of them. She did say she thought it was carved from some kind of fruit pit.
I've been examining it closely for the first time and doing some research online, and I think it's a netsuke, a bead used to close a little purse worn on a kimono. It has tiny holes in the points on either end, as well as larger ones in the carving on one end, and a groove cut into the carving. It would seem it was meant to be strung on threads. I also have a smaller, less elaborate ship that may be the ojime bead that goes with it.
As netsuke go, it's unremarkable and crude, but it impresses the daylights out of me.
For lots more Lilliputian lovelies, please click over to the Round Robins Photo Challenge, OK? See you there.
Update 6-03-08: Turns out this isn't a netsuke after all, but a peach-stone carving. See this post for details and a shot of the smaller boat: Nice nuts.