Meiji Bijutsu

Antique Meiji Period Maki-e Lacquer Box

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1910: Item # 1190701
Meiji Bijutsu
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Kita-aoyama 3-14-1
Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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This resplendent lacquer box is part of a series of mostly antique and vintage items that we recovered from the storehouse of a retired construction contractor. His house is located in the southern part of Kyoto, where buildings from the Edo and Meiji periods still stand. His son not being interested in inheriting his father's collection, we were asked to take them out, and we are now able to present them to you.

Maki-e is a lacquer technique where gold is applied to the black lacquer to form often rich and delicate motifs to decorate an objet, usually a box. It was developed during the Heian period (794-1185), in Japan.

This box dates from the Meiji period (1868-1912). It was probably used to keep a woman's makeup goods. It is exquisitely decorated with the abundant leaves of a golden vine, and the orange cord (which is more recent) accentuates the aura of sumptuousness of the box. Under the lid, the top part of the box, also richly decorated, may be removed.

Please let us know if you have some questions.

The box is in excellent condition and presents only very few gold wears. There are a few small dents under the box and a couple of minute ones on the lid. A larger one is visible in one of the corners of the removable tray (see picture 5).
Dimensions: 14.8 x 17.3 x 13 (height) cm (5.9 x 6.9 x 5.2 in); 411 g (14.3 oz)

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