Japanese and Chinese antiques and art from B & C
Japanese Carved Boxwood Lotus Leaf Tea Tray

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Tea Articles: Pre 1900: item # 766912

Please refer to our stock # 11-350A15 when inquiring.

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B & C   Antiques
P. O. Box 291
Derby, CT 06418

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Japanese Carved Boxwood Lotus Leaf Tea Tray

This wonderfully detailed boxwood tray has been realistically carved in the form of a curled lotus leaf holding a lotus flower seed pod. Meiji period (1868-1912). The close-grained hardwood has a rich brown color and a soft dark patina reflecting many years of careful use and care. The front depicts the top of an open lotus leaf with curled outer edges. A lotus seed pod, on a stem that curls around the left edge, sits on the lower left corner of the tray. A smaller curled lotus leaf, with a stem encircling the right edge, sits atop the upper right corner. The top surface is covered with carved leaf veins which radiate from the center, and there is a suggestion of leaf veins carved onto the reverse side. The wood is solid and quite heavy. Wooden serving trays of this type were important accessories in senchado (“the way of sencha”) -- the tea ceremony developed in the Edo period using sencha tea.

The lotus (“hasu”) is a water flower that rises above large fan-shaped leaves, growing in still, shallow bodies of fresh water and mud. Buddhist traditions hold that the lotus is a sacred flower. In secular Chinese art, the lotus has many auspicious meanings, variously symbolizing harmony, love, sympathy and prosperity. Boxwood, the hardwood of choice for Japanese carvers, is usually carved into smaller items such as netsuke and okimono, so a boxwood carving in this size is quite unique and rare.

CONDITION is very good, with normal wear consistent with age and usage. There is some evidence of worm holes, especially on the back.

DIMENSIONS: 13 ¼” (33.8 cm) x 11 ½” (29.3 cm) x 1” (2.5 cm) high.

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