Antique and vintage handmade wooden wagashi (sweet) moulds, this one with much coveted Koi (carp) scale carvings, were once highly functional items - but in recent times they've become a sought after form of sculptural art. Fish carving kashigata are popular and the first to be snapped up - therefore the hardest to find in Japan.
Kashigata are traditional, wooden confectionary moulds which come in varying sizes. Those with multiple smaller carved shapes are predominantly used for making tea ceremony sweets and larger Kashigata such as the ones we have at Zenbu Home are given as gifts, or offerings at shrine and temple altars. The wagashi (sweets) made from pressing rice flour and fine sugar into the moulds.
Commonly made from Yamazakura or Mountain Cherry wood, sometimes from Camellia or Ginko tree wood and more rarely from others - kashigata were hand-carved by artisans who spent a lifetime perfecting their craft. The wood was commonly aged for several years before carving.
Some Kashigata are far more intricately carved than others which are more streamlined. A combination of them look absolutely stunning in a large group mounted on the wall or in a small grouping sitting on a sideboard, mantle or display unit.
The carvings are often full of symbolism and popularly you'll see 'lucky/long life' Koi (carp) and turtles or seasonally representative plant, flower or nature motifs, family crests and specific festival or celebration icons with various style influences through the centuries.
Kashigata have a history of over 300 years and all of our kashigata at Zenbu Home are antique or vintage. Sadly this is a dying craft with very few kashigata artists left which means these are becoming a highly collectible art form. This piece has the maker's mark carved into the back as well as the shop name
26cm long plus 9cm handle
8.5cm wide and 2.5cm deep
Full of wabi sabi character as per pics
*Price includes free shipping within Australia
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