Vintage Sosaku Kokeshi

Lathe-Turned Wooden Prince with Tate-Eboshi Cap

Unknown Artist


Descriptive qualities:

Dimensions: 12-0"h

Collector's note – descriptive qualities, standard characteristics & ornamentation styles:

This large Kokeshi is inspired by the Emperor of Kyoto's Imperial Palace, (the Gosho), where he and the Empress resided during the Edo period, (1613-1868). This particular doll represents Prince Mutsuhito who was born in 1852, during whose reign Japan was dramatically transformed from a feudal country into one of the great powers of the modern world.

The beautifully hand-painted surfaces were created using motifs from clothing of the period. Posed standing, of carved wood with large rounded head and very plump oversized lathe-turned body. He is fully dressed in hakama and hoari, beautifully rendered to represent silk fabric of the 1900s. The painted facial features, slightly smiling expression, and a gold and cream tate-eboshi cap, (warn by high-ranking court nobles, generally those who had been granted access to the palace, (tenjobito), with simulated braded cords captures the essence of this young Prince.

Sharing thoughts about historical figures, songs and folk tales has always been an important aspect of Japanese life. This figure touches the soul of a collector for it offers an irresistible and universal message of sharing. Parents of both nobility and commoners throughout Japan encourage their children to be like the emperor and the shogun, and gifted their male children such beautiful Kokeshi figures.