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Japanese Metal Applique Button or Glove Hook

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    Posted 4 years ago

    (41 items)

    Just acquired this lovely old button hook which is 1-15/16" long closed. One side features bamboo with birds and the other side has a guy who, I assume, is the god of the bamboo forest. The sides appear to be highly detailed die-stampings in the style of Japanese applique metal-work. The details have been resist-plated with gold, silver, and copper. The steel hook works on a spring like a pocket knife blade. No identifying marks. My uneducated guess is that it is 75 to 100 years old.
    Any info appreciated.

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    1. Newfld Newfld, 4 years ago
      Fascinating hook, love the bird side
    2. truthordare truthordare, 4 years ago
      Seen a lot of mixed metal Japanese accessories, but this is a first. Wonderful find. I think you are right in most of what you described, the figure is one of the 7 Gods of Good Fortune, folkloric symbols often used as motifs, this one is Daikoku.

      From wiki:"Daikokuten (???)
      Main article: Daikokuten
      Daikokuten is also one of the Shichifukujin. He is the god of commerce and prosperity. There are other characteristics which have also been attributed to him, such as being the patron of cooks, farmers, bankers, and protector of crops. Curiously, he is also considered a demon hunter ? legend says that the god Daikokuten hung a sacred talisman on the branch of a tree in his garden and, by using this as a trap, he was able to catch a demon. This god is characterized by his smile, having short legs and wearing a hat on his head. He is usually depicted with a bag full of valuable objects."
    3. kyratango kyratango, 4 years ago
      Superb! Those hooks were in use till tiny buttons stopped to be used on shoes or long gloves, I'd say just before 1920.
      For your mixed metal handle, Google for shakudo menuki images! :-)
    4. Tonne Tonne, 4 years ago
      This would have been late Victorian, 1890-1910, which is the period of time that buttonhooks were popular amongst middle classes, instead of only upper classes. see:
    5. UncleRon UncleRon, 4 years ago
      Thanks Newfld, truthordare, kyratango, & Tonne, for the information and links. I love Oriental art and especially Japanese art and crafts.
    6. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 4 years ago
      Well UncleRon....I never figured you for being a hooker. Guess this is my lesson for today.

      Sorry I couldn't resist the opportunity to be a wise ass.
    7. lizzycbw lizzycbw, 4 years ago

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