Small flat Buddhist shrine, constructed as a triptych. When open, the middle section houses Amida Nyorai in raised carving, sitting on a lotus throne under a baldachin and surrounded by clouds. On the left panel Seishi bosatsu with his hands folded in prayer, on the right panel Kannon bosatsu with the lotus in his hands. Both bodhisattva surrounded by clouds as well. Sandalwood with details of garment and baldachin in gold. Background in lapis blue.
The outside decorated in makie: A lotus pond with leaves and flowers in raised gold and silver takamakie and with okibirame. Over the pond clouds and two apsaras, playing the sho and the drum. Hinges in the form of silver butterflies. Japan, Edo period or early Meiji at the latest, 19th century.
Closed: 7.7 x 3.3 x 0.9 inches (12 x 8.5 x 2.3 cm).
Some warping, otherwise fine condition.
Shrines like these were often decorated on the outside by well known lacquer studios. Signatures were often put on the outside bottom of the case. In the 1915 Red Cross Exhibition a similar piece was shown (Sculpture, no. 24, and today included in the British Museum) that was described as carved by Naito Koseki and lacquered by Komatsu. This piece dates from the early 20th century. The quality of the lacquer work is clearly different from the piece here. Naito Koseki was a Buddhist sculptor who was still alive in the 1930s.