RARE JAPANESE EDO PERIOD IVORY NETSUKE ( 根付 ) - AMA " LADY OF THE SEA "
As part of our Japanese works of art collection we are delighted to offer this lovely Edo period (1615-1868) c 1800, Japanese Ivory Netsuke depicting an "Ama" lady of the sea , she is modelled smiling with her long wet hair freely flowing down her back, wearing nothing but a loincloth skirt being held up by her left hand, in her right hand she holds her billhook, the Himotoshi has been formed to the rear, a rare subject with a beautiful colour , a great addition to your Japanese work of art or Netsuke collection.
Ama in Japanese means "woman of the sea" - These women specialised in freediving some 30 feet down into cold water wearing nothing more than a loincloth, utilising special techniques to hold their breath for up to 2 minutes at a time, they would work for up to 4 hours a day in order to gather abalone, seaweed and other shellfish, the most profitable pursuit however was diving for pearls, traditionally for Ama, finding a Pearl inside an oyster was akin to receiving a large bonus while they went about their ancestral practice of collecting shellfish.
In lovely well handled condition throughout, with a lovely mellow colour.
Height: 2.1" 5.5 cm
Width: 1" 2.6 cm
Depth: 0.6" 1.7 cm