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Cane ivory carved cane Japan signed Gyokuzan masks No Meiji Nineteenth Theater

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G10 89

Saling price :
440,00 €

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Cane knob ivory finely carved, decorated with a multitude of masks of the Noh theater (men, demons ...), signed Gyokuzan, from Japan, Meiji period (1868-1912) late nineteenth century.

This pommel is in good condition, it is of remarkable quality and finesse of sculpture. It is signed see photos. All masks are different and representing particular characters depending on the feeling represented.

A note: small slits on ivory, the metal mount is posterior, slight wear of time, see photos.

* Noh theater

is one of the traditional styles of Japanese theater coming from a religious and aristocratic conception of life. Noh combines chronicles in verse with danced pantomimes. Wearing sumptuous costumes and specific masks (there are 138 different masks), the actors play mainly for shoguns and samurai. Masks are used for all shite roles except the roles of live adult children and men (as opposed to ghosts). When the shite plays without a mask, he has to keep a neutral expression, just as if he were wearing a mask anyway. The design of Noh masks mixes real and symbolic elements, their purpose being to inform about the type of character as well as his mood. When he puts on the mask, the actor symbolically leaves his own personality to take that of the character he is going to embody. The contemplation of the mask is thus part of the preparation work for the role. In addition, because of the lighting, the expression of the mask is designed to be able to vary according to the exposure angle. The actor must constantly control the inclination of his head to present the light mask according to the orientation desired by the mood of his character. Demon masks, which may have an open or closed mouth, are distinguished by the great expressiveness of the features and the golden coloring of the eyes. These two elements express the raw power and savagery of the supernatural beings they represent. Only female demon masks have horns; the men do not have any.

Data sheet

  • Diamètre env. 4 cm
  • Longueur totale / pommeau seul 3,8 cm