ShippodoShippodo 新古美術七寳堂
Ryukyu Japanese Mother of Pearl Lacquered Tray

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Lacquer: Pre 1920: Item # 1116607

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Ryukyu Japanese Mother of Pearl Lacquered Tray

琉球漆器 菓子盆。

In tea ceremony there are many tools found using lacquer embellished with mother of pearl. The preferences have been seen since the Edo period in the 17th century but may have been used in earlier styles. Many of the tools at the time were imported from China and were used as trays and stands to display items or used during specific ceremonies such as when incense ceremony is done during the tea event or the most elaborate ceremony, the shichiji shiki.

The tray presented here would be used for serving dry sweets and seems to combine elements from China and Japan. The shape of the tray is distinctly a Japanese style while the mother of pearl section is using a style which is commonly found in examples in Ming and Qing mother of pearl pieces.

No similar pieces has been found in Japan that uses these elements throughout the 19th and 20th centuries and the closest examples and reasonable assumption is Ryukyu, now known as Okinawa. Okinawa lacquer wares uses a lot of hybrid elements that were adapted from China and Japan since the 15th-16th centuries. Many of the surviving examples resemble closely to Chinese lacquer wares and have been prized by some tea masters for their unique beauty.

CONDITION: Overall the lacquered piece has been kept in good condition, the corners have significant wear and the base wood is exposed and the lacquer has fallen off. Beyond the corners, there are a few scratches and wear from being used.

Size: 16.2" (length) x 13.6" (width) x1.5" (height) or 41.15cm x 34.54cm x 3.81cm.

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