Exhibition: “Inro – Japanese Belt Ornaments” | Germany

Inro Japanese Belt Ornaments

The Linden-Museum Stuttgart, an ASEMUS member, currently presents an exhibition entitled “Inro – Japanese Belt Ornaments. The Anna and Christian Trumpf collection”, which can be visited until 29 January 2017.

Inrō are sets of small cases nested within one another, and were predominantly used to carry official seals and medicine. Inrō were attached to a sash by a toggle (netsuke). These cases first came into fashion in the 16th century and remained a striking accessory of Japanese men’s fashion up until the end of the 1800s.

For centuries these beautifully decorated containers attested to their cultured owners’ wealth and taste. With a dazzling array of representations including landscapes, animals, plants and figurative scenes executed in a variety of lacquering techniques, they have enchanted viewers to the present day.Inro Japanese Belt Ornaments 2

Rich in symbolism and not uncommonly incorporating narrative elements, these objects allow for valuable insights into Japanese culture and mythology. Meticulously detailed and lovingly crafted, these elegant cases remain to this day beloved by collectors.

This small-scale exhibition presents a selection of the Linden Museum’s extensive inrō collection in the East Asia Department, and pairs these inrō with a large assortment of netsuke.

The catalogue of the exhibition “Inro – Japanese Belt Ornaments” was made possible through the generous support of the TRUMPF GmbH + Co. KG and the Berthold Leibinger Foundation. Available online, the catalogue has been edited by Uta Werlich and Susanne Germann and is presented in a bilingual edition, in German and English. All 253 inrō at the Linden-Museum Stuttgart – most of them from the Trumpf Collection – are fully reproduced and extensively documented in this sumptuous catalogue.

For additional information about “Inro – Japanese Belt Ornaments”, please visit http://www.lindenmuseum.de/en/see/exhibitions/inro/


Pictured above: poster of the exhibition; and signature Zeshin (2nd half of the 19th century; photo by A. Dreyer).

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