What a fabulous little fish this is. It comes in two parts and hidden on the inside are two shunga scenes.
The little fish is made from a resin type material. It has a tan/orangey colour and has been stained to make to look older than it is. It dates from around 2000.
It appears to be designed as a netsuke. Japanese garments had no pockets so containers (inros and sagemonos) were suspended on a cord through the belt and the netsuke was attached to the other end of the cord so that it would be held securely and would not fall through. Over time they became more and more detailed and artisans created wonderful sculptures of everyday life, animals, objects, etc.
This unusual little fish could also be used as a key ring or a pendant. The scenes on the inside both picture a male and a female in an erotic embrace.
This netsuke is in good condition with a little wear to the edges. It measures 6cm long and the two pieces are held together with brown cord.
A very unusual piece with a saucy secret on the inside.