Candlestick in the shape of a Western figure, oribe style

UnknownMomoyama period, early 17th century

Suntory Museum of Art

Suntory Museum of Art

His thick eyebrows, large, upturned eyes, and pointed nose present the very picture of a “Southern Barbarian,” or European. His jacket has a chrysanthemum pattern on the collar; he wears baggy trousers called karusan. A spike extends out of the plate on his head, to receive the candle. On his right side, he is equipped with a drawer to hold bits of candlewick. The basket he is holding in his left hand looks like a fishing creel, and the hole in his right hand may have held a fishing rod. It is said that the Southern Barbarian ships were likened to takarabune, ships bearing good fortune, and the Southern Barbarians themselves to the gods of good fortune; this candlestick may thus have been presenting this Southern Barbarian as Ebisu, the god of good fortune associated with fishing.

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  • Title: Candlestick in the shape of a Western figure, oribe style
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Momoyama period, early 17th century
  • Location Created: Japan
  • Physical Dimensions: w151 x h306 x d104 cm
  • Object Title (Japanese): 織部南蛮人燭台
  • Object Date (English): Momoyama period, early 17th century
  • Category (Japanese): 陶磁器
  • Artist Name (Japanese): 不明
  • Type: Ceramics
  • Rights: Suntory Museum of Art, Suntory Museum of Art