The four-part gold lacquer inro with a decoration of three figures by an elephant with saddle cloth and seat, cylinder-shaped metal ojime, ivory netsuke in the form of a man seated on an elephant with saddle cloth. Inro and ojime signed.
H. 8.5 cm (inro)
In Japan the inro was fixed to the obi, an often highly decorated belt made of luxurious fabric, worn on the kimono by men as well as women. The word inro is loosly translatable as ‘box to store seals’. The box was used not only to store seals, but also to store medicin, ink and brushes, or any other utensil that fitted the refined container. The richer the inro was decorated, the more important was the wearer of the box.