Inrō in the Shape of a House

Period: Edo period (1615–1868)

Date: late 18th–early 19th century

Culture: Japan

Medium: Two cases; lacquered wood with gold and silver takamaki-e, hiramaki-e, togidashimaki-e, cutout gold foil application on black lacquer groundNetsuke: ivory; Hotei in a bagOjime: metal bead

Dimensions: Inro: H. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm); W. 1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm); D. 9/16 in. (1.5 cm))
Netsuke: H. 1 in. (2.5 cm); W. 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm); D. 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)

Classification: Inrō

Credit Line: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929

Accession Number: 29.100.841


Decorated with a combination of lacquer techniques in silver and gold, the inrô in the shape of a thatched hut bears the signature of Koami Shinsaburo. The ivory netsuke, signed by ôhara Mitsuhiro, depicts one of the Seven Gods of Good Luck known as Hotei. A rotund, jolly figure, Hotei's attributes often include a fan and a bag to carry his treasures.