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Pipe case

19th century


Unknown Artist

No image
  • Details

    Other Title
    Kiseruzutsu (pipe case)
    Alternative title
    Rokkaku kiseruzutsu
    Place where the work was made
    Meiji period 1868 - 1912 → Japan
    19th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    ivory, carved stag antler
    21.5 x 1.9 cm :

    a - case, 2.5 x 16.2 x 1.9 cm

    b - lid, 2 x 9.5 x 1.4 cm

    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of Graham E. Fraser 1988
    Not on display
    Accession number
  • About

    Tobacco was introduced to Japan by the Portuguese in the 17th century. When the Japanese government tried to curtail its use by official bans, it was smuggled into the country under the name of "life prolinging tea". The government eventually relented and by the late Edo tobacco smoking was a pastime widespread in Japan.

    The accoutrements of smoking, particularly the tobacco pouchs, pipes and pipe cases, were a common feature of male dress in Edo period Japan, and much skill and wit was lavished on their decoration.

    The pipe case is decorated in a spare and understated manner with sacred Chinese 'lingzhi' fungus of immortality above.

    Asian Art Dept., AGNSW, November 1988.

  • Places

    Where the work was made