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Cabinet on stand

  • Place of origin:

    Netherlands (decorated)

  • Date:

    ca. 1630 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cabinet of lacquer on wood; stand of painted pine

  • Museum number:

    FE.38:1 to 13-1978

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries, case LP []

Object Type
Most Japanese export lacquer was made in forms suited to Western interiors and lifestyles. This object is in the form of a cabinet with internal drawers that has no equivalent in Japan. To make it more practical, stands were frequently added in the West.

Materials & Making
The sap from the lacquer tree could be processed to produce a glossy, durable and highly attractive decorative surface. Japanese lacquer-ware was first shipped to Europe during the late 16th century and was quite unlike anything seen before. It was much admired and was imported in large quantities throughout the 17th century. Most European country houses and palaces possessed examples of Japanese export lacquer.

Places
High-quality export lacquer was made to special order in Kyoto, Japan's former imperial capital. It was then transported to Deshima, a small island in Nagasaki harbour, for shipment abroad by Dutch merchants. From the early 17th century onwards, the Dutch were the only Europeans allowed to trade in Japan, which they did through the Dutch East India Company.

Place of Origin

Netherlands (decorated)

Date

ca. 1630 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Cabinet of lacquer on wood; stand of painted pine

Dimensions

Height: 107.5 cm on stand, Width: 67 cm, Depth: 36 cm

Object history note

Cabinet made in Japan; stand probably made in The Netherlands

Descriptive line

Cabinet on stand

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Many antiquarian collectors in the 18th century, including Horace Walpole (1717-1797) were passionate collectors of Japanese lacquer. They saw nothing odd in showing it alongside old oak or stained glass and admired it for its fine workmanship and elegant design. To their eyes it also went naturally with the Indian ebony furnishings that they mistook for ancient British furniture. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

About 1630; stand possibly 1680-1700

Categories

Furniture; Containers; British Galleries

Collection

East Asia Collection

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