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Bakelite Netsuke Figures? Cherry?

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Asian Antiques1775 of 4177IMPERIAL JINGDEZHEN PORCELAIN3 asian statues
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Posted 2 years ago


(6 items)

I came across these figurines that are approximately 2" x 1" (each one varies slightly in its actual size). I notice that most have two holes on their bottom underside but some do not. Some appear to have more transparency than others. I am just wondering how I would be able to determine the age of these pieces and any other information about them would be very helpful. I do believe that they are made of bakelite, possibly cherry bakelite?

Any information regarding these little figurines would be very helpful and greatly appreciated.


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  1. jwendell222 jwendell222, 2 years ago
    Hi Tawnie, you may be interested in the following site which has some suggestions for testing amber and bakelite. Regards, Jim
  2. Tawnie, 2 years ago
    Hi Jim,
    Thank you for the site suggestion. I did test each of these pieces and they do indicate that they are true bakelite. I am unsure as to why some of the pieces have two holes on their bottom under side but some do not. Is this something that is seen with a lot of bakelite netsuke pieces?
  3. jwendell222 jwendell222, 2 years ago
    Hi Tawnie. The bakelite pieces with holes, called himotosi, were intended to represent netsuke. Of course they are not truly netsuke, never worn by a samurai. The pieces without holes did not make it through the entire process. Still, this is a neat and interesting collection. These are the first bakelite netsuki I've seen. Best wishes, Jim

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