Japanese Antique Chopsticks

Japanese Antique Bamboo and Walrus Tusk Chopsticks with Case (Hashi)



Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: Chopstick - 7-0”l — Case - 8-0”l x 1-3/8”w

Offered is a Rare and Fine set of 12 Japanese Bamboo and Walrus Tusk Chopsticks in a hand-formed bamboo and Walrus Tusk case. When purchased it was an exceptional find out of Kyoto Japan. Each chopstick is a short type, lightweight and durable which makes them easy to manipulate. Each is thin, tapering, with sharp points, and a wonderfully fashioned Ivory cap held in place by two silver pins and designed to reflect a largely seafood-based diet of Japanese people. As far as chopsticks go, Japanese-style ones are also usually the shortest, and thinnest that you’ll find. The bamboo case is exceptionally nice and delicate where a portion of the top section is cut away to easily access the chopsticks, with small bamboo joints holding the top and bottom sections together. The entire set is lacquered in a natural finish. Bamboo has been used since ancient times for formal and everyday eating utensils and blossomed as an art with the introduction of the tea ceremony.

This set is gently used for its’ age and combined with a special material like ivory, is most rare and sought after by collectors, more still, if they are part of a set in a crafted case like the ones being offered. Chopsticks are dictated by regional styles within the country and tastes, as well as local customs, and the type of food served in each province.

Condition: Remarkably excellent with minimal aging, "as is" with no restoration. Slight cracking of the bamboo from age and climatic changes.

NOTE: Early chopsticks were no more simple than a pair of conveniently styled utensils. The first chopsticks used in Ancient Japan were cooking utensils that were originally made of diverse metals and were purposefully made to be longer, thicker, and oversized in their dimensions when compared to modern chopsticks so that they could be used to support cooking and keep food preparation safer. Centuries later, chopsticks started being used not just for cooking food, or tending to the fire, but also, for food consumption. Since they made eating easier, safer, cleaner, and faster, most were chiefly made of bamboo, (a plentiful supply of which grows almost all over Japan). Over the succeeding centuries, each Asian country produced these fast bamboo implements having their own distinct styles, sizes, shapes, and materials. 

Thanks to preservation efforts, animals and endangered materials, (e.g. walrus tusk , (grow continuously throughout their lives), ivory, tortoiseshell, and rare woods), are conservatively used today, if not banned altogether. However, we recognize that these materials have been important since ancient times for making a wide range of functional and decorative items. If we feature antique tortoiseshell or rare tree species it is because, while we support conservation, we truly feel that the historical nature and appreciation of historic artifacts should also be preserved and passed down in reverence.