Ivory netsuke in the form of doctor and patient

Made:
1871-1900 in Japan
Ivory figure depicting a doctor taking a patient's pulse.  Front view. Red background, fading to black.

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Ivory figure depicting a doctor taking a patient's pulse. Front view. Red background, fading to black.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Ivory figure, depicting a doctor feeling the pulse of a woman patient, signed Chikaaki, Japan, late 1800s

A doctor is feeling the pulse of his female patient in this small ivory netsuke. Netsuke are toggle-like ornaments used to hang objects, such as medicine boxes or tobacco pouches, from the sash of a kimono – a traditional form of Japanese dress.

In Traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Japanese medicine, the pulse is believed to be an indication of how strong or weak the energy force, known as qi, is within the body.

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Ivory netsuke

Details

Category:
Asian Medicine
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A645063
Materials:
complete, ivory and paint
type:
netsuke
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture
credit:
Loan, Wellcome Trust