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Small box

Small box

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    lacquered wood

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:

    W.618-1910

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This small box (kobako) depicts an animated scene full of movement. The gold swirls and sprinkled nashiji (pear skin ground) lacquer illustrates the force and movement of the water while the pearl inlay in the insect's wings suggesting their rapid flight and bright light. The bright red eyes of the fireflies highlights their positioning on the box and their scattered placement imitates their erratic movement. The box also illustrates a popular Japanese technique where space is counterbalanced with areas of great detail to retain the harmony of the design. Some areas of this box are left without decoration but this neatly contrasts to the detail and dense foliage of the bank.

Physical description

Small box (kobako) with a deep lid, wood covered in black lacquer illustrating a water way with waterlillies, irises and grasses in gold lacquer, above the waterway are fireflies in black and red lacquer with pearl inlay.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

lacquered wood

Dimensions

Height: 3.5 cm, Width: 5.08 cm, Diameter: 6.03 cm

Descriptive line

Small box (kobako) with a deep lid, wood covered in black lacquer illustrating a water way with waterlillies, irises and grasses in gold lacquer, above the waterway are fireflies in black and red lacquer with pearl inlay.

Materials

Wood; Lacquer; Mother of pearl

Techniques

Lacquering

Categories

Lacquerware; Containers

Collection

East Asia Collection

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