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Writing box

Writing box

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    Ca. 1800-1850

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood covered in lacquer, inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

  • Credit Line:

    Sage Memorial Gift

  • Museum number:

    W.306-1921

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Box for writing utensils, of squared form and with rounded corners and rounded, flush-fitting lid, decorated with shells for the Shell Game depicting either the outer patterning of the shells or the interior scenes alluding to the Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari), wood covered in lacquer, in gold, black, red and silver takamaki-e lacquer, inlaid with mother-of-pearl and with kirikane ('cut gold') on a black lacquer ground with flat hirame old flakes individually placed. The inside of the lid depicts a wooden frame enclosing a bamboo plant, around and on which sparrows fly and settle, the scene continuing on to the base with sparrows in the air and plants on the ground in gold hiramaki-e and takamaki-e lacquer on a part nashi-ji ground. A nashi-ji frame in the base of the box holds a central inkstone and silver water dropper tray in the form of two huts (the water dropper is missing) with a faded orange silk 'cushion' protecting the lacquer lid from the metal water dropper.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)

Date

Ca. 1800-1850

Materials and Techniques

Wood covered in lacquer, inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

Dimensions

Height: 9 1/2 in, Width: 8 1/2 in, Depth: 2 in

Descriptive line

Box for writing materials decorated with shells for the Shell Game in gold, black, red and silver lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl on a black lacquer ground with gold flakes, Japan, ca. 1800-1850.

Materials

Wood; Lacquer

Techniques

Technique

Subjects depicted

Shells; Bamboo; Birds

Categories

Lacquerware; Writing; Containers

Collection

East Asia Collection

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