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Currently shown

Box

Location

JAPAN, KYOTO

Era

Muromachi period (1333-1573)

Title

Box

Date

14th-15th c.

Materials

Maki-e lacquer on wood, pewter, silver, mother-of-pearl

Dimensions

3 x 6.3 x 6.3 cm

Credits

Gift of Freda and Irwin Browns, inv. 2013.408.1-4

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

This box is intricately decorated with multiple techniques of maki-e lacquer and inlays, featuring peonies on the outside and butterflies on the inside. The combination of these two natural motifs is considered auspicious and widely appears on furniture and textiles. The rims of the cover and the container are fitted with pewter – one of the common features of Muromachi period lacquerware, along with the straight bevelled edges of the cover. The box may have been originally made and used as a cosmetic box, then later repurposed as an incense container for the tea ceremony.

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