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Letter box

Letter box

  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1700-1775 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood covered in black lacquer with gold lacquer,<i> kirikane</i> and gold foil.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Misses Alexander

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Rectangular lidded box for letters (fubako) with bevelled edges and with a removeable inner tray and a loose board (both in plain black lacquer) within the tray, wood covered in roiro black lacquer decorated with pine trees and bamboo at the water's edge, together with randomly scattered mon (family crests), that of the Abe family with two crossed feathers in a circle, and the other with three oak leaves in a circle in gold hiramaki-e ('flat sprinkled picture'), and takamaki-e ('high sprinkled picture'), with kirikane and gold foil; fundame gold lacquer rims; two gilt copper attachment points decorated with two crossed feathers and very faded red silk tying cords.

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


ca. 1700-1775 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Wood covered in black lacquer with gold lacquer, kirikane and gold foil.


Depth: 3 1/4 in, Width: 3 8/16 in, Height: 15 4/16 in

Descriptive line

Rectangular box for letters with inner tray and loose board, wood covered in black lacquer, decorated with pine trees and bamboo at the water's edge and with two family crests in gold lacquer; two gilt copper attachment points and red silk tying cords, Japan, ca. 1700-1775.

Labels and date

Box for letters
Wood covered in black lacquer with gold hiramaki-e lacquer and foil
Pine and bamboo with family badges
About 1760-1770
Alexander Gift

The badges are probably those of the Makino and Abe families. A daughter of Makino Yasuchika (1707-1784) married Abe Yukie Masayori, who was aged 28 in 1774. This cabinet may have been part of the set of furniture given to her on that occasion. []


Wood; Lacquer

Subjects depicted

Bamboo; Mon; Trees, Pines


Containers; Lacquerware


East Asia Collection

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