Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art

A Taisho-Showa Lacquered Natsume â Tea Caddy

A Taisho-Showa Lacquered Natsume – Tea Caddy

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Lacquer: Pre 1980: Item # 962339

Please refer to our stock # 46 when inquiring.
This is a classic example of modern Japanese lacquer ware. It is a metal interior tapered round box with lid in the characteristic natsume style. On the exterior, there are two slanted and connected areas of nashiji - pear skin – lacquer in a light gold and a darker gold shade. On top of the nashiji ground there are two deer – the standing deer is executed entirely in mother-of-pearl (aogi) lacquer with gold makie spots on the body. The deer that is lying down is done totally in gold makie lacquer with some darker gold spots on the body. Note - the legs and the body on the standing deer do match up perfectly - I must have jostled the piece while taking the photos.

The metal interior has lighter sprinkles of nashiji covered with clear lacquer to protect the tea in the caddy. The base is recessed and has a single character signature that translates as “Kazu”. The natsume measures 3” high and is 2 7/8” diameter at the top. It is in excellent condition with no chips, nicks or restorations. We date it from the Taisho to early Showa period, circa 1920s-1950s. It is a truly superb piece of the modern day lacquerer’s art.