Japanese Meiji Carved Humidor c. 1900
In Japan, Hebi (snakes) represent protection and rebirth. During the Meiji period, carvings in ivory or wood of a Zugaikotsu (human skull) and an interwoven Hebi were very popular. Often these carvings were decorative objects for the home or Netsuke, which were small ivory carvings used as adornment on a kimono. This example is quite special in it's scale (8 inches by 5 inches), as the skull and snake humidors from this period (1868-1912) were 4 to 5 inches.