A Hand Carved Mold or Last for Weaving a Snowshoe: Rural Japan
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
1 1/4" x 14" x 4 1/2", 3 cm x 35.5 cm x 11.5 cm
This hand carved, wooden object is from rural Japan and it is a last which was used as a mold around which vegetable fiber snow shoes were woven--an illustration of the type of footwear created from this mold is shown here.
The surface of the wood is burnished to a very soft finish and there is a lot of ink writing on both sides of this last. The grain of the wood is quite prominent and the color is a rich, dark honey color.
A curious object with a beautiful form and one that recalls everyday life in old Japan.