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Samurai Container

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Asian Antiques1163 of 3832Chinese vase...Junk or treasure? White Chinese Snuff Bottle Hand Painted Signed on Bottom
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Posted 12 months ago


(27 items)

A Corrected Posting:
This is something my wife received as a present in the 1970's from a close friend. I have now been informed that it is a Japanese Inro, or a container used by Samurai to hold various items. I will update more as I learn.

My humble thanks to Jim (jwendell222) for his knowledge on this wonderful piece.

I have added another photo to depict the interior, which looks like it held tobacco, as there are small bits of mater.


  1. Artistinside Artistinside, 12 months ago
    Thanks for your "Love It's" everyone. It is kinda cool. It was buried away for years, just located yesterday.
  2. Vintagefran Vintagefran, 12 months ago
    Very nice Artisinside. what other goodies would you keep in it? ;)
  3. jwendell222, 12 months ago
    Hi, this is not a Chinese snuff bottle, it is a Japanese inro, carried by a samurai and would be suspended from an obi (sash) by a netsuke. The large carved bead on the right is an ojime. It is not rigged properly. Google 'inro'. Yours is a relatively modern bone repro. An original would hold tobacco, money, and other small samurai stuff. Regards, Jim
  4. Artistinside Artistinside, 12 months ago
    Well VintageFran, I stand corrected by Jim. And I am sorry to be so caviler about this piece, as I find Samurai to be a fascinating cultural phenomenon.

    Jim, thank you so very much for your valuable info. I will correct my post after I do more research. I may ask more questions if I cannot figure it all out. Question, are you positive it is a reproduction. Do you need to see inside to determine that? My wife now informs me it was not a Chinese dealer, it was a present from a friend. Again many thanks for you help, Kirk
  5. Artistinside Artistinside, 12 months ago
    Jim, after interrogating (asking politely) my wife, she said the friend put the new cord on the "Inro", so that is why it looks new, and why the the large bead is out of place. Does this make sense. Thanks, Kirk
  6. jwendell222, 12 months ago
    Hi Kirk, I'm not positive because I'm working from photos, albeit good high resolution photos. It could even be ivory and you should have it checked for that. But the patina is not right and the pine tree above the ladies tells me it was almost certainly carved in China, and the carving, although nice, is not to the standard of an original inro. I would be happy to answer any more questions you may have.
    best wishes, Jim
  7. Artistinside Artistinside, 12 months ago
    Jim, I just tested the piece with the hot pin, and it smelled like the order when you get your tooth drilled at the dentist (yuck). Upon close inspection I also see a grain both longitudinal and semi-circular when looking along the length of the sides. These seem to indicate ivory, what do you think. Thanks again, Kirk
  8. jwendell222, 12 months ago
    Hi Kirk, the ivory grain, called Schreger lines, seems to be visible in your photos, which is why I suggest you have someone familiar with ivory look at it. I think it's ivory. Good luck, Jim
  9. Artistinside Artistinside, 12 months ago
    Jim, sorry to be redundant, but are you saying you are not convinced with the results of my red hot pin, and odor info. I appreciate your patients, Kirk
  10. jwendell222, 12 months ago
    Hi Kirk if you're satisfied that it's ivory, I'm almost certain that you are right. To repeat, I think it is ivory. Best wishes, Jim
  11. Artistinside Artistinside, 12 months ago
    It has been great dialoging with and learning from you. I feel good knowing at least I am no longer calling it Chinese, take care, Kirk

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