Kyodai (Elder Brother/Younger Brother) Gosho-ningyo (Palace Doll) Pair, Edo Period

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7 1/2" (19 cm.) Classic gosho pairing of a free-standing older brother carrying his younger brother piggyback, his both arms bent back to support the younger brother who is dressed in a long white silk crepe robe covering all but the head. The older brother, with laughing expression, is fashioned of wood and covered in a fine gofun with painted details, including a front forelock and two side locks with additional silk fiber hair, and is wearing a chirimen sleeveless vest with embroidered designs that is tied at the front over a silk brocade haragake bib with silver foil thread designs. Side locks replaced. Edo Period, 19th century. Kyodai pairs were a popular subset of gosho-ningyo and copied the common practice of older children caring for their younger siblings. In gosho form the inclusion of two young boys conveyed a sense of numerous male progeny and fertility.
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