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Writing Box (suzuribako)




Edo period (1615-1868)


Writing Box (suzuribako)


About 1800


Maki-e lacquer on wood, pewter, slate, mother-of-pearl inlay


4.7 x 18.4 x 23.8 cm


Gift of F. Cleveland Morgan, inv. 1949.Ee.2a-c


Archeology and World Cultures

During the Edo period, the aesthetic appreciation for nature was reflected in everyday objects. Almost all living things, from flowers to animals to clouds, appeared in decorative motifs. This writing box (suzuribako) with a stag and maple leaves on the cover interior is painted in the Rimpa style of Ogata Kōrin (1658-1716). In the early 19th century, the artist, collector and publisher Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828) published One Hundred Paintings of Kōrin, sparking a renewed interest in the artist’s highly decorative screens, scrolls, textiles and lacquerware. The stag, a symbol of longevity, alludes to the beauty of autumn, as do the maple leaves.

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