Four bisque hand painted Japanese Hakone figurines; also referred to as “Hakata Dolls” or Suyaki Ningyu. These style “dolls” were first introduced in 17th century Japan as offerings to Buddhist temples and remained popular through World War II, gaining in popularity in America when servicemen brought them home as souvenirs from occupied Japan post war. Hakone is a town near Mt. Fuji where these were manufactured; and then distributed by Bristol Imports. They are quite unique and hard to find and even required a U.S. Patent to import.
The figurines and process are notably Japanese; the unglazed porcelain and hand painted muted colors with exceptional attention to detail is what attracts collectors to these highly regarded charming characters or “dolls”, who want an article of traditional Japanese Art with some historical background and significance.
“Made in Japan” markings and paper provenance present.
The condition is excellent; no chips or cracks (almost like new); except for a very slight chip to the right elbow of the Samurai Warrior (see image).
1) Fisherman With a Net 8 3/4″ high x 4 1/4″ wide x 3″ deep
2) Standing Man with a Fish 9 1/4″ high x 3 1/4″ wide x 3″ deep
3) Samurai Warrior with a Spear (original spear) 9″ high x 4 1/8″ wide x 2 5/8″ wide
4) Artisan at Work Seated on Straw Basket 5 1/2″ high x 4 3/8″ wide x 3 1/2″ deep
Basket 2 1/4″ high x 5″ wide x 3″ deep