neilholton wrote:but I do think these were made for an emerging smoking clientelle, who were Japanese but just didn’t have Shibui taste…
Subjectively, I much prefer your idea
A lot of work and effort must have gone into that level of hand carved detail around the case. To see a wealth of examples in the western market today, suggests there was a substantial demand from some group, somewhere, for this style of case.
neilholton wrote:Export is certainly not a negative in some areas of Japanese art but for me in netsuke-art, it does represent a very greyish area.
Good point. In the netsuke world it is usually used to denote some form of negative connotation. Subsequently the term can easily place someone on the back heel. I'll keep that in mind going forward.