Worn by Japanese men as decorative sash toggles, Netsuke were attracting the attention of the Europeans by the late 19th century. Today these delightful art objects are coveted by collectors throughout the world. Netsuke motifs can be mythical beings and insects, molluscs and reptiles, animals that seemed exotic to the Japanese of the Edo and Meiji eras, as well as Dutchmen and other Europeans, Consumate, mastery of the carver's craft in a variety of materials. Among them boxwood, ivory, horn, hornbill, coral, tortoiseshell and lacquer, distinguishes these miniature works of art. The masterpieces created by famous carvers like Yoshimura Shuzan (1700-1773) and Ohara Mitsuhiro (1810-1878) shaped aesthetic developments in this art medium.