It is a pleasure to imagine how this set of small carpenter’s ¬tools was treasured and what journey it may have taken before arriving at our hands.
The quality of the set is beyond excellent. It contains a hammer, a saw, a pair of pincers, an awl, a framing square, wood planer, and a chisel – each crafted with extreme precision in the smallest scale out of ivory and iron. The case is made of a fine silk that is lined with paper and has gold-leaf applied to the interior.
There was a highly skilled group of artisans called Ningyo-shi (dollmakers), that crafted dolls and toys in this era. However, a set of this quality is of another caliber compared to what they usually made. This intricate miniature set was made for connoisseurs, not for children to play with. Why did the artist go above and beyond to create it?
There is no rhyme or reason for their existence. The level of craftsmanship used to create something of such little utility conjures endless imagination and stories. One must wonder who the intriguing character was that had the idea to have such impractical beauty made. Whoever it was we owe our thanks.