Japan, late 19th century, Meiji period (1868-1912)
The stunning gold lacquer box bearing an attractive nashiji ground and lacquered in stunning silver and gold takamaki, hiramaki, togidashi-e, and kirigane on the cover with a flowering cherry tree above a rushing stream and waterfall flowing between bamboo-covered craggy rocks, the image continuing on the sides of the box. The interior of the cover is decorated with a silver-inlaid full moon rising behind the two famous wedded rocks, Meoto Iwa, executed in gold takamaki-e with kirigane highlights, surrounded by swirling and crashing waves. The interior further decorated with crashing waves and dew drop sprays, fitted with an inkstone (suzuri) and superb floral silver water dropper (suiteki).
SIZE 5.2 x 23 x 25 cm
Condition: Very good condition. The object presents extremely well, the lacquered details appearing fresh and very well preserved. The cover with a chip to two edges from contact with the box, the inside box with a tiny chip to one edge.
Provenance: From a noted private collection, New York.
The Meoto Iwa are two sacred rocks of the coast of Futami, near Ise shrine, Japan. One rock is larger than the other, and both symbolize the two creator Kami (Shinto deities) Izanagi and Izanami. The rocks are connected by a sacred shimenawa rope, which must be ceremoniously replaced several times a year, symbolizing the union of the deities. The site is particularly known for the view of the full moon rising between the rocks from autumn to winter, thus the present box suggests two times of year, with the flowering cherry on the cover alluding to spring, the decoration of the interior to autumn.
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