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$ 8,800

Rare Japanese Lacquer Writing Box Suzuribako Meiji Period

Origin Japan
Period 19th Century
Materials Wood lacquer Gufan Minerals
W. 9 in; H. 2 in; D. 10.25 in;
W. 22.86 cm; H. 5.08 cm; D. 26.04 cm;
Condition Good. Fine antique condition with patina and minor edge and base wear; a small area on the side shows some surface rubbing. Hand-written collection no as well as a paper label remain under the lid and on the base as shown.
Creation Date 1890-1910s
Description A Japanese Lacquer writing box Suzuribako Meiji Period (1868-1912), likely circa late 19th century. This suzuribako is one of the most unusual boxes we have seen in terms of the materials it employed and the resulted craftmanship. The top surface of the lid was decorated with a scalloped panel that depicts a youthful Kikujido (Chrysanthemum Boy). He holds a writing brush and sits beside a waterfall among blooming chrysanthemums in beautiful shades of red and pink. The texturized moriage design was executed with mineral pigments on gofun, an opaque white pigment made from pulverized oyster shells, which was traditionally used in doll-making. It is a rather non-conventional material to be used with Maki-e on lacquer box. Under the lid, one finds bundles of peonies and oxalis, fully blooming in red, pinks and white, anchored around a rock under a cloudy moonless night sky. Techniques such as takamaki-e, hiramaki-e, and kirigane were all used nicely to create this image, set against a sparsely sprinkled hirameji ground to indicate a nocturnal scene.
Kikujido is a immortal boy who appears in the song of the Noh script Makurajido (Jido and Pillow). He remained youthful even with the passing of 700 years after writing the lines of the Lotus Sutra graciously gifted to him by the Emperor on the leaves of a chrysanthemum, when the dew drops from the chrysanthemum became an elixir for immortality. His association with brush pen and forever youth makes him an interesting subject for this suzuribako.
Styles / Movements Asian, Bespoke, Traditional
Patterns Asian/Oriental, Textured
Incollect Reference Number 483489
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