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The Peacock’s Feather: Gentlemen’s Jewelry of Old Japan
By: Joseph Kurstin and Gilles Lorin

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the well-dressed gentleman of urban Japan seldom appeared on the street without a carefully considered ensemble of a netsuke and a sagemono suspended from his sash. The netsuke, usually an intricately carved miniature of ivory, wood, or antler, functioned as a means of securing the sagemono, a “dangling object” such as a medicine case or tobacco pouch, to one’s clothing. Often the work of highly skilled artisans, such objects were worn mainly as personal adornments, and were richly decorative displays of a wearer’s wealth and taste.

This book pictures over 100 beautifully photographed individual netsuke and ensembles of netsuke and sagemono selected for an exhibition at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in winter of 2007. Interpretive text accompanies each photograph for a complete explanation of each miniature work of art pictured.

An essay on the role the netsuke-sagemono ensemble played in society is also included, along with an index of subjects and an index of artists. The Introduction was contributed by H. I. H. Princess Takamado.

Hardcover, 132 pages

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