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Gallery 4
Maneki Nekos:  Practical Cats!  Theatrical Cats!
[Note:  Please click on the small pictures below to see larger images.]  [mix03]

Practical Cats (That May Do Useful Things.  [Unlike real cats, lol!]

A black-spotted white Maneki Neko ashtray with a lustreware base.  From eBay.  Porcelain, 2.25" (5.5 cm) tall by 2.75" (7 cm) deep, stamped "MADE IN / JAPAN" in orange-red on the bottom.

A Seto-style Kutani Maneki Neko jar (the head comes off).  A beautiful porcelain tricolor cat with moriage decoration.  Underneath a sticker reads "Neiman Marcus / JAPAN".  8 1/4" (21 cm) tall.  An "ears turned sideways"-style kitty.

This wide-mouthed white w/ blue Neko is actually a sake carafe with a "fuku" (happiness) symbol on her tag & also inside each cup.  From "Joe's Chinese Store", Little Rock, AR.  When I saw the name of the store I had to stop!  Ceramic, 4" (10 cm) tall.

An unusual Lucky Cat:  His head comes off to reveal a bowl underneath.  The wooden body is lacquered a cream color, with multicolored details.  The inside is black.  He's 4.5" (12 cm) tall.  Made in Japan.  Bought online.  One theory is that he might be a tobacco humidor.  I don't know.

A couple of Beckoning Cats w/ both paws up: one cream, the other green.  They're ceramic w/ crackled glaze, on rectangular bases.  2.75" (7 cm) tall.  The cream one, which has "IN JAPAN" still stamped on the back of the base, is now w/ Diane in TX; the green one here w/ me in TN.  I believe that these were used as paperweights.

This extra-cute Maneki is both an alarm clock & a coin bank.  Note that it has both silver & gold ingots, the super big one labeled "wealth" in Kanji.  A perfect Xmas present from Roz, this figure stands 5.5" (14cm), is made of plastic (+ screws & electronics), & has "MAYITA / QUARTZ" on the clock face.  The red scroll that he holds is removable -- perhaps there is more than one version.

An unusual "Near-Neko" (his left paw IS raised!).  He's riding his fish rodeo-style, bareback.  Doesn't seem to bother the fish, but it looks as tho this rider is ready to jump out of this stripes!  Painted chalkware (?), 3" (7.5 cm) tall, with a cubic hollowed-out place underneath, where a green plastic "MADE IN CHINA" pencil-sharpener is hiding.  Purchased "preowned" in a Bowling Green, KY, antique mall.

When I saw the colors on this Lucky Cat I knew I had to have him.  He's covered with a flat sea-green glaze, which makes the shiny black, yellow, & orange details really stand out.  Actually a coffee mug, he has a long tail in the back for a handle and his head comes off to get inside.  He's 3 3/4" tall, ceramic, & has a yellow decal on the bottom which says "WANDFOND CERAMICS".  (This is in Shaoguan City, Guangdong, China.)

This nearly Maneki Neko snuff bottle has really grown on me.  I've never seen anything quite like him.  An interesting expression, an unusual kitten body, & a fantastic paint job.  His body is yellow-green with painted-on black fur lines & round black spots.  The top of his head is orange with red-orange whorls, round black spots, & a stem which is the spoon's handle.  He appears to have a great deal of work put into him & I'm glad I found him.  Ceramic, 2 1/4" tall, with red Asian characters underneath.  Made in China.

A plastic, battery-powered Maneki Neko wall-clock from a mail-order catalog.  15" tall, including the tail.  I like what the box says: "We all could use some help managing at least two things: time and money.  The Fortune Kitty Clock will help you with both.  Called 'Maneki neko' meaning 'Welcomer cat,' it is a traditional Asian symbol of bountiful luck.  It beckons fortune to stop by and stay for a while, and it gives you a clock to keep track of how long it actually does.  (With a 10 million gold coin and an unusual tail.)  Made in Taiwan for Accoutrements."

A black Maneki Neko ashtray set: base, a bowl for matches, a Maneki to keep an eye on things, & 4 individual ashtrays - each with a red bell painted in the middle.  3.5" (9 cm) tall by 6.5" (16 cm) wide, ceramic, with "MADE IN / JAPAN" in raised lettering on the bottom of the base.  Bought in an antique mall in Kentucky.

An unusual pair of salt & pepper shakers found on eBay.  I don't know if the maker was intentionally copying the Maneki Neko form; but they're w/o-a-doubt Maneki Nekos!  3" (7.5 cm) tall, w/ blue floral decorations on white ceramic.  One has a single hole in its nose (pepper?); the other has 3 smaller holes (salt?).

A set of 5 individual Maneki Neko chopstick rests from Japan in their original box.  Each elegant 2" (5 cm) porcelain figure is beautifully decorated (by hand?) with a different pattern & expression.  Purchased new from eBayer "evaevamei" of Taiwan.  None of the pieces are marked.


A ceramic Manekineko pea-pod! Featuring five little individual manekineko chopstick rests -- each painted differently. ("Kawaiiiii!")  Each chopstick rest is 1" (2.5 cm) long, the green tray is 5.5" (14 cm) long.  Purchased new from eBayer "kailin" of Hong Kong. Wonderful!

Theatrical Cats (Who Pretend to Be Someone or Something Else)

hellomn1.jpg (52381 bytes)

This sweet Lucky Cat is a 7" (17.5 cm) tall, plush Hello Kitty Maneki Neko, w/ a real bell, cloth vest, cloth flower, & shiny cloth coin. ID: a sewn-in cloth tag: "Sanrio / Smiles / (c) '76, '99 San Rio Tokyo, Japan".  Shipped from Tokyo, Japan.

Garfield flew all the way from Hong Kong (eBay, 1999) to perform his famous Maneki Neko impression.  Not bad!  A big, orange, plastic "piggy" (sorry, Garfield) bank, he's 9" (23 cm) tall & has the following ID: "modern star" impressed beside his tail & "GARFIELD: (c)1978 PAWS" impressed on the tail itself.
A Samurai Cat a'beckoning!  Bought new from a Japanese eBayer, this guy is really neat!  Definitely a class act!  Great character, great details, great painting ... molded resin, 4.25" (11cm) tall, and LOTS of info on the bottom: black plastic sheet with white fan logo & "MH / (c) NYAG 2005 / SETO CRAFT", a barcode-sticker, & a round white logo-sticker saying "LICENSED BY NY ARTISTS GUILD" in brown.

A 1" (2.5 cm) tall ceramic Lil Dayan who came in a red felt bag with his picture on it.  A present from the seller who sold me my Big Dayan.  This is an example of a charming Japanese custom - enclosing a small gift with merchandise.  No ID, but certainly a Wachifield product.


Big "Dayan" is an appealing Japanese cat character, somewhat in the "Hello Kitty" manner.  My Dayan Maneki Neko is 9" (23 cm) tall, porcelain, & wears a metal bell. Some of his friends are painted onto his front & he carries his fish under his arm. Underneath is a bar-coded sticker w/ "Wachifield Licensing Inc."  He came with a red-striped cloth pillow.  Purchased w/ the aid of Mellisa thru her friend Vesel in Japan:  http://heihachi.blog.ocn.ne.jp

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