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As part of our Japanese works of art collection we are delighted to offer this lovely Edo period (1615-1868) c 1800, Japanese Ivory Netsuke depicting an “Ama” lady of the sea , she is modelled smiling with her long wet hair freely flowing down her back, wearing nothing but a loincloth skirt being held up by her left hand, in her right hand she holds her billhook, the Himotoshi has been formed to the rear, a rare subject with a beautiful colour , a great addition to your Japanese work of art or Netsuke collection.


Ama in Japanese means “woman of the sea” – These women specialised in freediving some 30 feet down into cold water wearing nothing more than a loincloth, utilising special techniques to hold their breath for up to 2 minutes at a time, they would work for up to 4 hours a day in order to gather abalone, seaweed and other shellfish, the most profitable pursuit however was diving for pearls, traditionally for Ama, finding a Pearl inside an oyster was akin to receiving a large bonus while they went about their ancestral practice of collecting shellfish.

Condition report:

In lovely well handled condition throughout, with a lovely mellow colour.

Approximate size:

Height: 2.1″  5.5 cm

Width:     1″  2.6 cm

Depth: 0.6″  1.7 cm

Free worldwide delivery and a certificate of authenticity are included within the price of this item, Buyers outside the EU are fully responsible for the costs of any export licences that may be required.

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