Signed figures with multiple faces. Inuit?

Discussion in 'Tribal Art' started by 916Bulldogs123, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. 916Bulldogs123

    916Bulldogs123 Well-Known Member

    I hope someone can tell me what i have here.
    These two are 2" tall.
    Appear to be carved but ill leave that up to the experts.
    Both are signed.
    The faces are able to rotate inside the head with two faces on each.
    That's all i know.


    atree 21968.jpg
    atree 21969.jpg
    atree 21955.jpg
    atree 21971.jpg
    atree 21966.jpg
    atree 21956.jpg
    atree 21957.jpg
    Ghopper1924 and Bakersgma like this.
  2. i need help

    i need help Well-Known Member

  3. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Probably Chinese resin copies of Japanese netsuke.

    A search for 'netsuke rolling face' seems to turn up the greatest number at once, all various figures.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  4. Hollyblue

    Hollyblue Well-Known Member

  5. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

  6. 916Bulldogs123

    916Bulldogs123 Well-Known Member

    So resin not ivory.
    Ghopper1924 and Bronwen like this.
  7. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Most likely. We'd need sharp closeups of plain surfaces on different sides to be absolutely certain, but the question of whether or not something is ivory comes up here regularly & we have returned the whole range of possible answers. By comparing photos in past listings & reading associated comments, you will probably be able to come to your own conclusions. Here are other threads you can check out:
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
    kyratango likes this.
  8. Miscstuff

    Miscstuff Australia

    I can't see any indication of ivory, bone or resin so you might be on to a winner there. As Bronwen said "we need sharp closeups of plain surfaces on different sides to be absolutely certain".
    judy and Bronwen like this.
  9. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    These little fellows seem to be cropping up rather often -- and they give me the creeps!

    Sticks in weird places, revolving faces... Erk!
    judy and Bronwen like this.
  10. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    The one on the right might be a type of yokai (supernatural creature/demon) called an isoonna. It's a vampire-like thing that feeds on fishermen and travelers.

    Show us the other faces.
    Jivvy, judy and Bronwen like this.
  11. 916Bulldogs123

    916Bulldogs123 Well-Known Member

    They both have the vampire like face and a normal one.

    atree 21974.jpg
    atree 21975.jpg
    kyratango and Bronwen like this.
  12. 916Bulldogs123

    916Bulldogs123 Well-Known Member

  13. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    Are they too large to be tagua?
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  14. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    My vote is for resin. The antique ivory ones have smaller heads and look hand-carved, which these don't imo.
    Do the holes in the back interconnect, can you pass a rope from one to the other?
  15. Jivvy

    Jivvy the research is my favorite

    I wonder if it's a combo -- cast (and relatively well cast), but finished by hand (with what looks like an electric engraver to me)?
    Bronwen likes this.
  16. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Yes. A tagua nut is a good size to carve into an ojime, but you'd need a relatively huge one to carve something like these. You could use tagua for the revolving faces but I am not at all suggesting that was done. The Chinese have become as good with resin ivory as they are with making things look like ancient bronze.
  17. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    That could be, but not a combo of hand carved natural material & cast resin. Something that way is done in the making of some contemporary 'lava' cameos: essentially molded, with hand applied finishing touches.
  18. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    There's plenty of tagua netsuke online.
    Bronwen likes this.
  19. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    Yes, but. I couldn't spend much time researching this question, but if you are citing the many sales listings for tagua nut netsuke, not museums or netsuke specialty sites, I suspect the vast majority of them are like this one:


    This is an ojime, a toggle bead, another part of a sagemono. It is drilled with 1 hole top to bottom. Tagua nuts are the perfect size for making these. OP's figures are 2" tall; I have never seen anything carved from a single nut that was so large. :)
  20. Hollyblue

    Hollyblue Well-Known Member

    4.5 inch carving..............
    Bronwen likes this.
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