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n. pl. netsuke or net·su·kes
A small toggle, often in the form of a carved ivory or wood figure, used to secure a purse or container suspended on a cord from the sash of a kimono.



(Antiques) (in Japan) a carved toggle, esp of wood or ivory, originally used to tether a medicine box, purse, etc, worn dangling from the waist
[C19: from Japanese]


(ˈnɛt ski, -skeɪ; Japn. ˈnɛ tsʊˈkɛ)

n., pl. -ke, -kes.
(in Japanese art) a small carved figure, orig. used as a buttonlike fixture on a man's sash.
[1880–85; < Japanese, =ne root + tsuke attach]


Small Japanese figures (predominantly animals) usually carved from ivory and used to decorate belts, purses, tobacco pouches, etc. Highly collectable, these miniature works of sixteenth-century art are said to acquire an “aura” the more they are handled.
References in periodicals archive ?
There are also Iroquois False Face Society wooden masks, Pre-Columbian heads, and Japanese netsuke.
A few other artifacts scanned by the museum included a bust of Greek god Zeus, Japanese netsuke figures and a statue of Ramesses II.
Dressed To Impress: Netsuke And Japanese Men's Fashion Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat & Sun 12noon-5pm, ends May 21, PS1.
For relative scale: Durer's Young Hare is about 9 inches high, the netsuke (tiny dot on the right side) is less than 1 inch high, and Cavener's sculpture (left side) is more than 5 feet tall.
the long teeth of elephants carved into trinkets & netsuke,
The purchaser subsequently brought the netsuke back to England and delivered them to Christie's auction house for sale.
I decided to delve into the history of these sculptures and also the small Netsuke pronounced (Net-Ski) .
Newly affluent Chinese keen to build their personal collections are avidly buying up items such as ivory netsuke, or miniature sculptures, and seals being sold off by wealthy Japanese.
A netsuke was attached to the other end of the cord preventing the cord from slipping through the sash.
They are called netsuke (look it up) - and they unlock a brilliant story, starting in Japan, without a rugby ball in sight.
While his early recognition in the US was the result of his rather hostile reconsideration of Bernard Leach's influence in a small volume written for the Tate St Ives (1998) and his compact but inclusive 20th Century Ceramics (2003), he became a celebrity with the publication of his family memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010), which conveyed the attraction of objects through the story of his ancestors' collections and the loss of it all, except 264 diminutive netsuke, in the Anschluss and Holocaust.