Magical Miniature Tour

The mystique of ojime is legendary. Although the 19th century Japanese gentry did not wear jewelry as we know it, they demanded excellent workmanship in their accessories. Lucky for us.

Unrivalled in ingenuity, the ojime would represent a favorite animal or talisman, a timely festival or favorite fruit or flower. Often they portrayed themes of sheer delightful whimsy.  At times the subject was esoteric, providing pleasure exclusively for the owner. As the aristocrat of beads, the ojime functioned as a closing device to keep the inro or other sagemono neatly together. The ojime could match en suite the netsuke or sagemono.

The best Japanese artists tried their hand at the difficult task of producing these miniature works of art to fulfill the desires of the most sophisticated minds of their time. They used the finest pierced gold, stunning sculptured silver, flawless damascene, and amazing multi-metalwork with shibuichi and shakudo.

Please tour the ojime pictured on the three pages with tabs above. Page One includes Shoki the Demon Queller, a mischievous oni, a shishimai dancer peeking out through his lion mask, and a wonderfully naturalistic spotted frog on a curled leaf. On Page Two themes shown include a Daruma doll, chrysanthemums and leaves, roosters, a courtesan, a mischievous oni, and dazzling geometric designs. The ojime shown on Page Three depict a boy holding a Daruma doll, a  fukura suzume (lucky sparrow), and various flora and fauna. All are produced with a unique perspective and a heightened sense of aesthetics.

At Orientations Gallery you will find an array of ojime fashioned from ivory, lacquer, silver, gold, rare alloys, enamel, wood, hardstone, coral and pearls.

We invite you to view our selection of fine antique ojime. We also offer additional unique objects of personal adornment. Works of art made to be worn. Simply irresistible.