Large Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi Figure is entitled: “Chameko | Urchin” by Watanabe, Masao

Sale price$285.00

Dimensions: 10-1/2”h

Watanabe-san was fascinated with children and used them as a model for many of his figures. The face incorporates sumi-e’ type large wide eyes, wispy hair over his forehead, and what remains of bows on the side of the head. Seen are three sections, the head, the Haori, (a short jacket), and the base of the doll showing a very simple use of two different kinds of wood, Beech (Bichi) and Magnolia (Mokuren) to define the body and clothing. Throughout Japanese history, scraps of material were initially used to make Kokeshi. This is known as ‘Mottainai’, meaning to not waste, and replicated in the treatment of this jacket to appear worn. This natural treatment conveys a feeling of awe and appreciation for any material that has the potential for creating something else. 

The piece is finished with either a type of natural or colored candle wax, (Rosoku no ro). A multiple award winner in Kokeshi competitions around the world, his works are permanently exhibited at the Nuremberg Toy Museum in Germany. The piece is signed in script on the bottom as well as his personal impressed mark showing ownership of this design. 

For Additional Information on this artist visit:https://mingeiarts.com/collections/artisan-woodworker-watanabe-masao-1917-2007.

Condition: Excellent condition means this large and beautiful-turned figure is commensurate with age showing slight wear of the jacket. That said this represents one of the original Watanabe dolls of this type inspired in the 1950s, showing no structural problems and still retaining its distinctive character. Meets the high standards of the collector of the works of Sosaku Kokeshi by the masters.