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Ivory statue; netsuke, Japan, 1800-1939

This tiny ivory netsuke is in the form of a woman standing before a mortar. A pestle is in her hand and a child stands opposite. She could be grinding food or mixing a pharmacological preparation. The netsuke was made in Japan. Netsuke are carved toggle-like ornaments, usually made from either wood or ivory. They hang objects such as medicine boxes or tobacco pouches from the sash of a kimono – a …