Inro (three-part container) with lacquer work

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Maker Unknown (Japanese), Inro (three-part container) with lacquer work, 19th century
Photo Credit: 

Laura Shea

On View
Unknown
Japanese
Place made: 
Asia; Japan
Inro (three-part container) with lacquer work, 19th century
Wood, lacquer, and fiber; carved
Overall: 3 3/8 in x 2 7/8 in x 1 9/16 in; 8.6 cm x 7.3 cm x 4 cm
William Richter Collection, Gift of Margaret Ruth Richter (Class of 1939)
MH 1986.30.99

The rat’s circular tail was incorporated into the design not only as a decorative element, but also a functional one. It provides the necessary space for stringing the inro, or wooden case. His beady eyes shine due to the sea pine inlays the artisan inserted as pupils. The inro contains separate compartments and a cord to connect it to the netsuke behind the kimono’s sash.

(2004)