Thoroughly Delightful Gosho-ningyo (Palace Doll) with Puppy, Edo Period

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13" (33 cm.) h. including cap. Wood gosho-ningyo seated with legs thrust forward, nice detail to hands and feet, sexed figure, real hair, is covered overall in gofun with painted details and is wearing a lacquered paper eboshi court cap and an elaborately embroidered silk crepe haragake bib with dense floral sprays, holding a silken cord attached to a goten-gangu (palace toy) style papier mache standing puppy covered in gofun with inset glass eyes and painted details including light shadowing around the ears, wearing a silk crepe bib. Light craquelure, loss of hair. Edo Period, 19th century. Exhibited Mingei International Museum (2005). Published in Ningyo: The Art of the Japanese Doll, page 35. Goten-gangu were elegantly-fashioned toys, frequently depicting animals such as dogs, birds and rabbits. Initially created largely for the nobility, they then became objects of desire in the Edo marketplace, being great companion pieces for the ever-evolving gosho-ningyo with its frequent pairing with auspicious objects. Dogs were especially held in great esteem and seen as symbols of protection and fertility.
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