Small box of drawers in gold and silver lacquer on a tortoiseshell background. The decor is composed of volutes and phoenixes in light relief (Taka Maki-e) of gold and silver powders, mosaic detail of inlaid solid gold and silver tiny squares (kirikane). By transparency one distinguishes under the tortoiseshell the reflections of gold leaf. The fittings are finely chiseled with volutes. There is one phoénix by panels, inside some Mon are on the drawers.
Difficult to date with exactitude because no signature.Edo périod (17th-19th)
The simplicity of the decor reminds me of the 18th century.
Approximate dimensions 11 x 8 x 9 cm.
Some kirikane missing.
The lacquer is split at the lacquer-tortoiseshell junctions, a phenomenon due to the difference in expansion of the materials, the tortoiseshell retracting over time, not the lacquer. There are small shocks visible on photos, no restoration.
It is very rare to find Japanese beautifull lacquers like this one,applied on tortoiseshell,a box of similar technique is housed in the Metropolitan Museum, however several dishes are known but all are of very poor quality and were intended for export.There are very nice Japanese lacquer imitations of this type of tortoiseshell background and it is almost impossible to see any difference.I tested "at the point of fire" a hidden part of the shell is a strong smell of burnt horn to confirm that it was indeed tortoise shell.In addition, the retraction of the panels is also proof.