A set of thirteen oshie dolls
Japan, Meiji (circa 1880), cm 25x18.
The doll making has been taken to an art form in Japan, and Oshie dolls were extremely popular items among wealthy classes along the whole 19th century. They dolls were obtained recycling old dismissed kimono silks, that were cut and fitted to padded cardboard outlines representing either a Geisha or a Samurai. Hands and faces were then hand painted, and the whole very much in the style of the Ukiyo-e genre. The results - dolls that are neither 2d nor 3d, rather something in between - were often brilliant and used to decorate the rooms of little girls.
The present lot offers a variation from the canonical procedure, in having not-padded outlined figures delicately drawn with brown ink (see details – some Geisha faces ), and interspaces filled with cuts of silk.