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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Unknown
Culture:Japanese
Title:Dutchman holding a bird
Date Made:18th century
Type:Netsuke
Materials:Ivory; carved with pigment
Place Made:Asia; Japan
Measurements:Overall: 4 1/8 in x 1 in x 3/4 in; 10.5 cm x 2.5 cm x 1.9 cm
Accession Number:  MH 1986.30.33
Credit Line:William Richter Collection, Gift of Margaret Ruth Richter (Class of 1939)
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Currently on view

Description:
Japanese netsuke. A slender standing dutchman in with a feather hat holds a bird (crane?). Two holes for functional use on his back. KEYWORD: foreigner, portrait, figure, animal.

Label Text:
In 18th century Japan, Europeans were perceived as mysterious beings and objects of curiosity. Fearing political subversion, the Japanese government confined Dutch merchants to the tiny island of Deshima in Nagasaki harbor. The sole opportunity for Japanese to glimpse Europeans came during the annual visit of the Dutch East India Company representative to the shogun in Edo, present-day Tokyo. A particularly vivid description of these foreigners describes them as “imaginary beings with cat’s eyes, huge noses, red hair, and shrike’s-tongues.”

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