Japanese Antique Gomatake and Ivory Chopsticks

Japanese Antique Pair Tea Ceremony Bamboo and Ivory Chopsticks (Hashi)

$125.00

Age:Late 19th Century

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: Chopstick - 8-1/4”l 

Offered is a wonder masterfully crafted pair of unfinished Gomatake Bamboo Chopsticks in which the bark is remaining on one side leaving the epidermis of the bamboo intact. It has a square sharp-edge, and a cut and fitted tapered Ivory half-shank and tip, (held in place with one silver dowel). The top of the chopstick has a subtle curve ending in the natural Nodal ridge. 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 for which this pair was designed.

Gomatake has a natural spotted design that resembles tiny sesame seeds. This is achieved by cutting off the branches of the bamboo before harvesting. The bamboo will slowly begin to die, creating this unique sesame pattern. The size and density of the pattern depend on both the weather and soil conditions. What makes this particular chopsticks an unusual pair is the incorporation of a ivory, which is most rare and sought after by collectors. This type of Chopstick referred to as Kyo-meichiku standard, are dictated by regional styles and taste, as well as local customs, and complimenting the type of food served during the Tea Ceremony experience.

Condition: Remarkably excellent with minimal aging from climatic changes and use, "as is" with no restoration. Beautiful clean pair.

NOTE: Kyoto where these chopsticks were made is surrounded by mountains and has a unique basin climate characterized by hot-and-humid summers and chilly winters, which contribute toward the area's fame as a high-quality bamboo production center. From the end of the Kamakura Period (1185–1333) through the Muromachi Period (1336–1573), it became a vital material in the manufacture of tea utensils used in the tea ceremony (which flourished during this time), thus making bamboo even handier and more widely utilized than before. In these ways, bamboo developed deep ties with Kyoto, a city blessed with an ideal climate and natural features as well as a rich cultural backdrop. 

Thanks to preservation efforts, animals and endangered materials, (e.g. 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.