Made in Japan Figurine

tlc910November 23, 2012

I recently received this figurine from a lady at our church that was moving into a retirement community. I researched the hallmark and know it is Maruyami Toki, SETO, 1920-30's.

My question is what the cutout and hole in the back are for? The pictures I have found online and on eBay have not had these.

I know this is not valuable but I am curious.

New to the forum and have enjoyed reading many of the posts on here. I know I have several items that I have been carrying around for years that I need to dig out and find out what they are. Thanks, Terry

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Looks like it might have been a lamp.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 4:51PM
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That is what I thought at first but the figure is only about 6" high and not very heavy. The hole goes straight into his back and there is not room for a bend once the lamp fixture was inserted inside. It was made with the hole because there is small run of green from his jacket on the edge.

I cleaned it up and put it on a shelf but those openings still bother me...can't figure it


    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 5:07PM
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I think it's an incensor -- incense cones were burnt in it. The larger, lower hole allows you to insert the incense and the smoke comes out the upper one.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Those holes may be an artifact of the casting process. Hollow castings made by the slip mold process need a drain hole to pour out the excess molding 'slip'. Lack of sharp edges is a common feature of slip molding.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 3:28AM
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Stafford cottage pastille (incense) burners have these holes. The smoke comes out the chimney of the cottage -- it's a little less attractive having it come out of the man's ears!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:08AM
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It's a pastille burner.
A slip drain hole is much different...small and more or less hidden.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:05PM
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