Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art
A Chinese Red Lacquer (Tsuishu) Scholars Writing Box

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Lacquer: Pre 1920: item # 1231065

Please refer to our stock # 75 when inquiring.

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Ichiban Japanese & Oriental Antiques
Post Office Box 395
Marion, CT 06444-0395

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A Chinese Red Lacquer (Tsuishu) Scholars Writing Box
This is a handsome Chinese writing box dating from the early to mid 20th century. It measures 7.8" by 9.6" and is 2.3" deep. The entire outside of the box is covered in very thick and deeply embossed Tsuishu lacquer. It has a pattern of a crane standing on a rock that is surrounded by stylized waves - above the crane are branches of bamboo and pine. The interior of the box contains two fitted long black lacquer pieces that would have been used to hold the paper down. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks or other issues.

Tsuishu originated in China and was introduced to Japan during the Heian-era (794-1192). Tsuishu is a kind of Japanese traditional urushi (lacquer) ware. In the making of Tsuishu, the thick layer of solid lacquer is engraved with designs such as flowers, birds, or landscapes. Tsuishu ware was highly valued as tea utensils and house ornaments. In the making of more modern Tsuishu pieces the total production time, which is said to be several months at the maximum, is considerably reduced by producing many pieces of engraved lacquer ware of the same pattern out of one hand-carved prototype. The molded wood-carved intaglio is then coated with vermillion lacquer at least one hundred times.

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