In the Eye of Vanessa Rau: Prints of Goshoningyo Dolls

Specialized in Japanese art and truly passionate, Vanessa Rau shares with us every weekend poetry, culture, myths and legends of the land of the rising sun… Today, the antique dealer presents us with rare prints of Goshoningyo dolls :


“During my travels in Japan, I have the habit of hunting in a few antique dealers shops with whom I have established real bonds of trust and sharing. One of them told me about his latest find: prints of dolls… which I immediately fell in love with.


During this holiday season, I found it amusing to present this series of original prints from 1931 depicting Goshoningyo dolls. These Japanese imperial dolls are of great value and remain a token of nobility for those who own them. In Japan, grandparents donate them when their grandchildren are born.


This set of prints were collected in a booklet that the toy dealer displayed to his customers in order to present the existing models. The dolls are made to order. This booklet could be compared to a "luxury" catalog that the maker of Goshoningyo edited and distributed especially for the toy store. So there were very few editions of these pieces.


I decided to separate the 25 pieces and have them framed in order to compose a nice decor and be able to contemplate each of the prints. This set fits in my opinion with any type of decor, from classic to contemporary. The prints are timeless and their "childish" aspect brings a touch of poetry. A child's room could just as easily accommodate these representations, it could also be a relatively original gift for Christmas: get out of the ritual of toys and educate your child about decoration.


I appreciate the rarity of the object, due to the number of prints in very small quantities, and its atypical appearance. The print with the sword and arrows is also found in the form of toy or dummy in the temple. Indeed, there is a ritual consisting in buying children, girls and boys of 3, 5 and 7 years old, a sword or dummy arrows in order to bring them good fortune, health and success throughout the year. At the end of the year, the children leave their toys as offerings at the Shinto temple.


Even today, a few valiant artisans make Goshoningyo dolls. Initially made as toys, these dolls have become real collector's items… ”



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