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Netsuke and Inro

Originally developed in Japan both Netsuke and Inro began as practical items and became objects of high art. Both were developed before clothing had pockets and once pockets became common, the inro and netsuke became artisitc items valued for the intricate craftmanship required to sculpture them.

Netsuke are traditional toggles used to hang everyday items from clothing. Objects such as tobacco pouches, purses, pipes or writing implements would commonly be hung this way.

Inro were also hung from clothing but they are little containers for keeping small valuables such as gemstone, snuff or medication.

Both of these items are intricately carved from boxwood or bone and it is the shapes and designs that are highly sought after today. Traditional desings included Buddhas, Gods, Dragons, animals and people.

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