Antique Japanese nagamochi karuma storage trunk. Made of kiri (paulownia) wood and solid Keyaki hardwood wheels with iron hardware and mounts. A large high relief embossed iron locking plate in the form of a phoenix created a lock and latch system on the front of the trunk. The phoenix bird represents justice and Sun obedience. Untouched and original condition, the wood is treated with a dry lacquer finish.
The Trunk also shows the family crest composed of iron mounts on the side of the lidded cover. Once used to store the household valuables, this trunk could be wheeled outside in the event of a fire. Nagamochi karuma were outlawed in Osaka, Kyoto and Edo after the great Meirecki fire when people flooded the streets with them, blocking fire crews.
Edo Period (circa 1830's)
Size: 42" high x 63" wide x 31 1/2" deep.