The size of Yusoku Gofun Saishiki Wooden Box: 14 1/4” Long x 10 1/2” Wide x 4 1/8” High. This is very rare Japanese Yusoku Gofun Saishiki Wooden Box. It is from middle Edo, circa around 1700-1750’s. Box is made by Kiri Wood with fine works of Moriage (raised) Kiku (chrysanthemum) design with Gofun Saishiki. This type works called Yusoku Hin which word were used for type of items used only at Imperial family or relating family. It is Ryoshi Bunko (documents box) which store scrolls and other paper documents. The all Kiku flowers’s petal and leaves are done by Gofun Saishiki (painted over Gofun works). The method been used since Nara Period early 8th century. It is same type work as Japanese Lacquer. Please see Gofun definition at separate paragraph. The box came with original very old wooden box. The top of upper right side has Japanese writing, “Souzen Kiku Gojou” (Souzen Chrysanthmum Go Finish). Same Kanji writing on the side of wooden box as well. Whether this “Souzen” is same artist or not, but there is Hishida Souzen(1647-1707) who made works of tea ceremony and other works during middle Edo. Please note the finish of Kiku flowers are all around the wooden box including on the bottom which show more detail leaves works. Original brand new box was more closer finish you see on the bottom of box. Plain Kiriwood with Gofun Saishiki. The condition of Ryoshibako is very good for this very old ages. The cover fit very well. Please see all photos. There is some restoration spots on the corner joints. Some flower petal as well as leaves has worn spots. Plus some worm holes around which is minor. It is expected for natural wood finish. I did not clean because it will ruin the original aged condition on the box. I have seen some of this king Yusoku work before but I never seen this much works on one item with this much old Yusoku work box.
Gofun is the pigment made from Clam shell powder. Clam shell been weathering long time and grinded down. Weathering time from many many months to may years.
Gofun Saishiki: The one of old Japanese lacquer method used for finishing on temple figures, Kwannon, and other Buddha and other finish as well the carved works on temple and shrines. Gofun Saishiki, is finishing process mixed with this powder and Nikawa(Japanese glue) for the white Kiku parts. It take long time finish this elaborate works box with many coating to build up. Including all details works of leaves. Then green leaves are painted with other pigments.