Monday, July 5, 2010
KOKESHI (wooden doll-like) BUTTONS
Button collectors often find small, painted wooden doll-like buttons, but few realize what they are..tiny KOKESHI. Very popular in Japan as household ornaments, Kokeshi there are avidly collected. Always of wood in a stylized, cylindrical body form, Kokeshi have a distinct head, but no limbs (the arms, hands, and legs are not carved, but inferred) and the hair and features are painted without detail to "preserve and further exaggerate the basic simplicity of the piece". NON-button Kokeshi range in size from 1 inch to 24 inches.
If you are lucky enough to find a Kokeshi button, look at it very carefully--a very few lucky collectors have discovered that the head of their little button-doll unscrewed, and within the hollow body were tiny ivory dice.
Info. from "About Buttons Book" by Peggy Ann Obsorne