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Tiered food box (japanese jubako)

Tiered food box (japanese jubako)

  • Place of origin:

    Nagoya (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1860 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Copper body, cloisonné enamels

  • Museum number:

    895-1869

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Japanese name for this type of tiered food box is ‘jubako’. This example was bought at the Paris International Exposition of 1867 for the extremely high price of £60.00.

The high-quality cloisonne enamel decoration is extensive; all the bases of the tiers are enamelled with ‘karakusa’ (Chinese grass), scrolls and fans. The lower base has an applied mosaic-like Japanese character for ‘Good Luck’ in coloured enamels. The top of the lid has a scene of cranes and pines (both symbols of longevity) on the legendary mountain-island Horai, a place of eternal youth and immortality.

We do not know who made this piece but it is most likely to have been produced in Nagoya, possibly even by Kaji Tsunekichi, the artist responsible for the renaissance of Japanese cloisonné enamels around 1840. The type, style and application of the enamels here have many similar features to another early cloisonné vessel in the V&A’s collections (Museum no. 894-1869). It too was purchased at the Paris International Exposition of 1867.

Physical description

Tiered and lidded food box (Japanese: jubako) with cloisonné enamel decoration

Place of Origin

Nagoya (probably, made)

Date

ca. 1860 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Copper body, cloisonné enamels

Dimensions

Height: 19.7 cm

Descriptive line

Met, Japan, VESS/CONT/HOLDERS, CLOISONNE

Met, Japan, VESS/CONT/HOLDERS, CLOISONNE

Met, Japan, VESS/CONT/HOLDERS, CLOISONNE

Materials

Copper

Techniques

Cloisonné

Categories

Containers

Collection

East Asia Collection

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