Antique ivory netsuke have been a sought out decoration for many homes for many centuries.

Netsuke was originally created to serve the functional purpose of attaching a cord of a container to the traditional Japanese garment called a kimono. These containers  were in the form of pouches or small woven baskets, but the most common were skilfully crafted boxes, which were held closed by “ojime” -sliding beads on cords. The netsuke was a toggle resembling a button that attached the cord to the top of the sash.

However, even after these miniature sculptures were no longer used for their functional purpose the continued to be sought after as they are not only symbolic of Japanese culture but also a specimen of exemplary craftsmanship.


What to look for when looking for antique netsuke for sale 

Referring to antique netsuke it is important to keep in mind a few characteristics that are used to define Netsuke from other antique ivory carvings.

Firstly, Antique ivory netsuke  is a distinctly Japanese art form thus became a localised art different to anything in China and other nearby regions.


It’s also important to remember that all early netsuke weren’t always quite so ornamental. Carved Netsuke and antique netsuke for sale were created in the 18th century, whereas before that they were simple little gourds, probably natural gourds. As the designs became more intricate they came to include mythological creatures, religious subjects, zodiacal animals, kabuki actors or literary heroes. It is noted that these little statues tend to mirror the culture in Japan and the cultural or social trends.


These antique netsuke for sale are greatly considered as collector’s items today. Looking back through history though, it is very much possible that those who could afford the intricate little ornaments collected them as well. This conclusion can be drawn by the fact that netsuke were used to add a certain flair to an outfit and different netsuke were used for different occasions, very much like contemporary accessories, meaning that most men would have more than one.


For collectors it is important to find netsuke that are considered authentic from the time period, while some are signed and others not, it is important to buy from trustworthy providers.


At you can find a variety of antique netsuke for sale as well as
antique ivory netsuke, guaranteed for their authenticity.