A Japanese smoking set
This somewhat rustic smoking set that consists of a tobacco box or tonkotsu, together with a pipe holder or kiseruzutsu is remarkable in its kind. It is an article characteristic of the Japanese smoker from the time that a kimono with a belt was worn. This object hung between that belt. The tobacco box has the shape of a rather naturalistic human skull with a coarse denture, a macabre picture. The box opens at the bottom with a freakishly shaped lid that is covered with red lacquer. The accompanying pipe holder is rustic and looks like a rough branch with a disc at the end. The design hangs between a piece of natural stag horn and a mushroom. To get a nice even colour this kiseruzutsu is covered with brown lacquer. This object emphasizes the whimsical design of nature. Both objects are held together with a cord and attached to it is a so-called ojime, a closing bead or sliding bead. This bead is cut from a fruit seed and displays a rocky landscape with plants, with a figure in an openwork area. The carver also applied his signature in the form of three Japanese characters placed below each other. Between the flat rectangular leather tobacco bags and the tubular pipe holders that are the most common, this object is one of the more surprising examples.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 18.374Permalink