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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1885M3046
Collection:Applied Art - Asian
Date:1870 - 1900


Inro are small boxes, usually of several compartments, used to carry medicines. They were first produced in the 17th century, and were worn until the beginning of the 20th century when Western dress was introduced into Japan. They were worn suspended on a twin cord from the obi (sash) secured by a netsuke (toggle) and an ojime (bead). This single box inro has a dark brown ground to simulate the appearance of oxidised iron, it depicts two frogs as sumo wrestlers beneath a bamboo hung with a dandelion plant and lotus leaf. The reverse depicts frogs as spectators. The interior is black.

Presented by John Feeney.

Further Information

Production Period:Meiji Period (1868-1911)
Place of Origin:Japan


Height:64 mm
Width:50 mm
Depth:20 mm

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