This item is a Tabaco Ire (たばこ入れ). Tabaco Ire is a container to store chopped tobacco. It was considered elegant to wrap chopped tobacco in a white paper in the early Edo period. But people who were engaged in outdoor works tied it to a handmade purse and hung it on their waist. In addition, some people remodeled and used the Douran (胴乱, a case to store valuables or gunpowder). This way, Tabaco Ire gradually spread among ordinary people and reached the upper class. Various types of Tabaco Ires were made; Sage-Tabaco Ire (提げたばこ入れ, hang from the waist) and Kaichu-Tabaco Ire (懐中たばこ入れ, put inside of Kimono) are the typical styles. It is said the latter type was appreciated, especially Samurais and ladies.
Some Tabaco Ires are made of hard materials such as wood, metal, horns, fangs, shells, and ceramics, and they are called Tonkotsu Tabaco Ire (とんこつたばこ入れ). According to a theory, outdoor workers initially used it in agriculture, forestry, or hunting. They carried Tonkotsu to protect chopped tobaccos from rain or humidity. As they attached importance to its practicality, the appearance of Tonkotsu was not fashionable. With time, townspeople started using this style’s Tabaco Ire, and decorative Tonkostsus were produced. We think this Tabaco Ire is one of those Tonkotsus that was made in this trend.
In this item, the Tabaco Ire (shell part) is tied with a hollow tubular container. We think it is a component to store a Kiseru (きせる/煙管). Kiseru is a type of smoking equipment for chopped tobacco, and it looks similar to a pipe. Before cigarettes became the primary current in Japan, it was the most common smoking method. It consists of the following parts: Gankubi (雁首), Rau/Rao (羅宇), and Suikuchi (吸口). There is a Hizara (火皿) at the tip of Gankubi. Hizara is the part where you put the chopped tobacco and ignite it. Gankubi is the head part of a Kiseru, excluding Hizara. Rau (also called Rao) is a tube through which cigarette smoke passes. Suikuchi is a mouthpiece. Gankubi, Hizara, and Suikuchi are usually made of metal to give durability. However, Rau/Rao part is often made from bamboo, and ebony was sometimes used for luxury Kiserus. On the other hand, there are also Kiserus made from metal. Gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, and zinc were used.
*As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.
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【How to make sure the condition】
Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision.
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