This extraordinary Japanese ambrotype, from the Meiji Period, probably c. 1880s, is of a mother and son sitting next to a table with a potted plant. The woman is dressed in a traditional kimono, “geta” sandals, and is holding a fan. The barefoot little boy is also wearing a kimono and holding a fan. This little future Samurai has the “chonmage” or top knot hair style. There is some light spotting along the top of the image, but it otherwise has the fine clarity and the rich tonality common with Japanese ambrotypes.
The ambrotype comes in a handcrafted polonia or kiri wood case (Berg 6-138, VR p. 460) with makers mark on the top, indicating an original matched case and cover. The cover is missing one of the side rails and part of the top plate. The image measures 2.625 x 3.5 inches and the case is 3.125 x 4.125 inches. The case is in very good condition.