Button netsuke with spider-devil design

Button netsuke with spider-devil design

Netsuke
Japan
19th century
Ivory
Museum no. 564-1904
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Large button netsuke with design of the  Spider-Devil, a beautiful woman riding a spider and  reading a scroll, with a spiders web in the background.  In Japan is seen as a symbol of industrious work, and can foretell the visit of a good friend. It can have more sinister attributes, as it is considered to be the weaver of the web of illusion.