Tobacco Pouch and Pipe with Netsuke of Freshwater Pearl in Gold Mount

Period: Edo period (1615–1868)

Date: 18th century

Culture: Japan

Medium: Pouch: Dutch embossed leather with silver foil, and color
Clasp: gold, shakudō and shibuichi
Ojime: gold
Netsuke: freshwater pearl and gold
Pipe: metal
Pipe case: Dutch embossed leather with silver foils, and color

Dimensions: Pouch: H. 4 in. (10.2 cm); W. 5 1/4 in. (13.3 cm)
Pipe case: L. 9 in. (22.9 cm)
Pipe: L. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm)
Netsuke: Diam. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm)

Classification: Tobacco Pouches

Credit Line: Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913

Accession Number: 14.40.843a, b


The freshwater pearl of the netsuke is embedded in a fine gold mount depicting waves. The waves are executed in great detail with dramatic curves and round water drops. Its valuable materials make this tobacco pouch and netsuke the ultimate luxury accessory.