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Large Noh Mask Oversized Netsuke ?

A forum to discuss different forms of Netsuke such as Katabori, Manju, Ryusa etc
SStubbs
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:13 pm
Location: UK

Large Noh Mask Oversized Netsuke ?

Postby SStubbs » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:04 pm

Hello
i have had this Noh mask carving for quite a long time and always wondered if it is in fact a Netsuke ? it does have a hold in the back but measures approx 4 inches tall.

also any ideas on age it looks to be at least late 19th century.

kind regards Steven
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souldeep
Posts: 3477
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:38 pm
Location: London

Re: Large Noh Mask Oversized Netsuke ?

Postby souldeep » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:02 pm

Hi Steven,

The traditional Noh/Kabuki masks I've handled are larger and made to fit something face size. Even the smaller representations for decorating walls have an open back with the ability to attach to attach a wire/cord either side of the back of the mask for hanging/display. The following an example of what I mean;
no-theater-mask-wooden-polychrome-demon-gigaku-o-beshimi-japan-edo-nineteenth.jpg

In your example, one should ask why instead, the back of the mask has been undercut, leaving a bar running across the back.

Further to this, in your images, it appears the back bar is convex. This would not sit flush against a wall.

For me, it is quite feasible that this has been carved in the tradition of a Netsuke mask.

Sometimes we actually find examples of oversized Netsuke for the Noh play itself. What you may have here is an actors Netsuke.
Piglet: "Pooh?" Pooh: "Yes, Piglet?" Piglet: "I've been thinking..." Pooh: "That's a very good habit to get into to, Piglet." - A.A. Milne.

SStubbs
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:13 pm
Location: UK

Re: Large Noh Mask Oversized Netsuke ?

Postby SStubbs » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:29 pm

Hello Souldeep

thank you so much for your Insight,
i would agree that the convex back bar would not suggest it to be wall mounted and the overall "Feel" of this Tactile piece did make me think it was likely to be worn and displayed.

i love the Idea of an Actors Netsuke, would you happen to know any websites were other examples may exist i would love to follow down that path to see if this is correct?

also do you agree with my dating of 19th century? and in particularly i think possibly late Edo.

kind regards Steven


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