Japan, Edo - Meiji Period, 19th century | Fifteen Plectrums (Bachi)

Lot Closed

September 21, 04:50 PM GMT


2,000 - 3,000 GBP

Lot Details



Edo - Meiji Period, 19th century

Fifteen Plectrums (Bachi)

variously carved in ivory, whalebone, tortoiseshell and ebony

each with later custom-made stand

Lengths ranging from 20.5 to 25.5cm., 8 to 10in.

This lot contains ivory or rhino horn and other restricted materials. Sotheby's recommends that buyers check with their own government regarding any importation requirements prior to placing a bid. For example, US regulations restrictor prohibits the import of certain items (including ivory) to protect wildlife conservation. Please note that Sotheby's will not assist buyers with CITES licence applications where a buyer elects to either collect or arrange their own shipping, nor will Sotheby's assist with the international movement of ivory/rhino horn by air, either as freight or through hand carry. Sotheby's shipping will only assist in shipping the lot to either domestic UK or EU destinations, where delivery is made by road transport. A buyer's inability to export or import these lots cannot justify a delay in payment or sale cancellation. ‘Please note that where the buyer is from within the UK the lot is sold with no VAT symbol. Where the buyer resides outside the UK the lot is invoiced as if it bore the “†” symbol.’
Formerly in a Private British Collection
Such bachi are used for playing the shamisen, a Japanese three-stringed plucked lute. Distinctively larger than the plectrums used for Western stringed instruments, bachi were often made with materials such as ivory and tortoiseshell, and varied in shape depending on the size of the shamisen or the style and genre of the music played.