Pair of Japanese Dolls
Two dolls, perhaps intended to represent a samurai and a court lady, feature wooden heads, hands, and feet with gofun finish; their eyes are most likely glass. Female doll has two black dots painted on her forehead and wears her hair in osuberakashi fashion. They are both elaborately dressed in multilayer costumes. The male doll has discoloration on his chin and the top of his head and a chip on one toe, showing wear appropriate to age and normal use. Dolls are approximately 50-70 years old. Handle carefully as heads will detach from bodies. Female doll, 5.75W x 3.75D x 4.375T. Male doll, 6W x 4.25D x 4.625T. From Japan.Historical Background Hina Matsuri, or doll festival, is more commonly known as Girl's Day and is celebrated every March 3. Girls throughout Japan display their doll collections for a few days to celebrate this festival. The Boy's Festival (Tango no Sekku) is celebrated on May 5. Families pray for the health and future success of their sons by hanging up carp streamers and displaying samurai dolls, both symbolizing strength, power, and success in life.Gofun is powder mixed with ground oyster shell. The gofun is then mixed with glue and applied to the wooden faces, hands, and feet to achieve the desired look. Osuberakashi is a traditional Japanese coiffure where the long hair is gathered so that it hangs down at the back of the head.Two black dots painted on the forehead are representations of a form of make-up adopted by members of the court during the Heian period (794-1185).