Antique Japanese Carved Gold Gilt Stag Antler Sake Cup Netsuke
Antique Japanese Gilt Antler Netsuke
Kinrande Sakazuki 金襴手酒カップ
Chawan 茶碗 Sake Cup カップ
Sig. unsigned, Circa: Edo period,18th - 19th C
H 1 in. (2.5cm), W 2.75 in. (7cm), D 1.5 in. (3.5cm)
gilt lost, age crack, in very good condition!
An ingenious naturalistic carving of an antler sake cup with a twirling rim. Its interior has been hollowed out into a smooth concave, surfaced with maroon colored lacquer and gilded gold brocade (Kinrande), in direct contrast to the carefully preserved antler texture on the exterior, where a small ring serves as a himotoshi for the cord. It is seldom acknowledged by collectors that the materials of netsuke are often applied to medical purpose in Japan. One popular ingredient for allaying flu and fever is the tusk of narwhale. So it is also commonly believed that by ingesting a scraping of ivory can retract a thorn or splinter, and a stag antler is used as an aphrodisiac and antidote for adder bite. In light of its versatility, no doubt this multi-purpose netsuke was a treasure wore by many of its owners; and yet we see only minor gilt loss and a small age crack on the rim.