A Japanese Ivory Netsuke of an Attractive Shell Group of Three Venus Clams

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Object Description

A Japanese Ivory Netsuke of an Attractive Shell Group of Three Venus Clams
Unstained fine smooth creamy patina
Unsigned
19th Century

Size: 1.5cm high, 4cm wide, 3cm deep – ½ ins high, 1½ ins wide, 1¼ ins deep


Object History

Ex European Private Collection

Object Literature

‘Hamaguri’ seawater Venus clams are found in the coastal waters of Japan, Korea and China and are said to taste best during the cherry blossom season. Because the shells are a joined pair, they symbolise martial harmony and so clam soup is often served at weddings. However the clam is also said to be a salacious symbol as it resembles women’s genitalia.

Object Details

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