A pair of exquisitely carved wooden stands in three parts, used for offering food or other things on a Buddhist altar. The hexagonal stems have each six inset wooden panels with finely carved fretwork in the shape of birds between flowers, colored with gold and bright colors. Each of the panels show different birds and different flowers. Over the stem there is a hexagonal middle section, inserted with each six finely carved pieces of fretwork in the shape of different flowering plants. A hexagonal offering stand crowns the whole, surrounded by lotus shaped fretwork. Each petal decorated with either a chrysanthemum or a paulonia flower (one kiku-mon between five kiri-mon and one kiri-mon between five kiku-mon), symbols of the imperial household. The framework of the stands covered in black lacquer, decorated in gold and silver with chrysanthemums between karakusa. Both stands are completely different from each other. Japan, Meiji period.
Overall height 9 in. (22.8 cm); width at widest point 5.5 in. (13.3 cm).
Four pieces of fretwork broken, three of which are glued and repainted. Some cracks in the lacquered frame along the seams of the wood, some of the gold and silver lacquer rubbed and chipped. The color on the fretwork dried out and crumbling. Damages due to age and use. All in all in rather good condition.