Kirsten's Corner Jewelry
Mouse and Peanut Combination Resin Netsuke
A lovely little combination cast resin mice and peanut Netsuke, or Okimono. Okimonos are a Japanese ornament inspired by Netsukes, a miniatures functional sculpture, invented in the 17th Century, which was used to attach personal belongings to the kimono, or garment that had no pockets. Netsukes became highly valued works of art, and from this enthusiasm and love for miniatures came the Okimono works of art. Okimono, small and purely decorative sculptures, were often made by the same artists who produced Netsuke. I am not certain if this piece once was a functional work of art, as there is a circle on one of the mice that looks like it could have once been a hole for threading a cord. Perhaps the hole was filled, and then it became purely a work of art.
This little Okimono is a wonderful expression of extraordinary craftsmanship. Many Okimonos reflected events of the everyday, and had a history of folklore and story telling; this miniature features three mice surrounding enticing peanuts. They have been cast quite nicely, showing great detail, including the hair of their body and little feet. The eyes are small black beads that give the creatures a lively animation. You can't see any casting lines on this piece and it shows superb craftsmanship.
This rounded and sculpted Okimono was most likely an inexpensive souvenir and a faithful reproduction of the kinds of pieces exhibited in art museums.
This piece dates to the 1920's and measures 1-12 x 1-1/4 inches. Its a great miniature for an art collection, and makes a nice decorative item.