The concept of “erotic art” (Shunga) may have emerged in the Edo period when every form of popular culture flourished. This does not mean there were no earlier works of erotica; very early works were by highly literate nobles and were often considered works of art. Japanese mythology, later formulated into the system known as Shinto, makes multiple references to sexuality, and almost always in a positive manner.
In the lateTaisho period and early Showa period, an artistic movement called Eroguronansensu, literally “erotic-grotesque-nonsense,” occurred, influenced by decadent works from Europe. These words were used because they had an rebellious air being new and modern in feeling. Until the 1950s, erotica was still very limited in production. Open sexual expressions were permitted in novels and woodblock form, but strict control was applied on photographs and films. During World War II, erotic materials were banned altogether.
“This is a collector’s find, and rarely seen”. The figure represents Okame with female genitalia in combination with her mouth, with male genitalia as the back and top of her head. The piece is polychrome porcelain and has its original spoon. It is signed in older Katakana translated as KOUKEN NEN SAY meaning “watching with detachment” and the age (approximately 1933), but no artist signature. It is in very good condition for its age. With the Japanese occupation of China during this period, it is interesting to find an artifact like a snuff bottle, which was not a typical Japanese creation, although Okame is Japanese as well as the inscription. Dimensions: 1-¾” w x 2-½” h.
Excellent Condition- In unused, or like-unused condition. No visual or structural or surface wear or damage shown. Pristine. As good as the day it was made.
Great Condition- Appears in slightly used condition but looks "Like New". Some minor wear, but retains the original craft/workmanship. May show minor wear, that does not affect the main design, or associated motif. No cracks, dents, chips or missing elements.
Good Condition- Minor wear which can be restored or repaired; may have surface flaws, like staining or soiling, confined to a small area. The flaw(s) are counterbalanced by another feature, like brilliant color or innovative design. Some fading or the piece may have been altered in some fashion.
Fair Condition- Main aesthetic/design showing damage. Excessive noticeable wear or damage. Worth buying if can be restored/repaired because of its aesthetic or design appeal or rarity. Note: wear/damage consistent with age/use can often enhance the 'Antique' qualities of a piece, giving it a desirable second chance in one's collection