Japanes Maki-e Lacquer Box, Meiji Period

Japanes Maki-e Lacquer Box, Meiji Period


18 x 16 x 14 cm


This gorgeous Japanese Maki-e lacquer box dates to the late Meiji period, that is to say, the early 20th century.

The dark brown, almost black lacquer surface of the box is sprinkled with gold powder forming a sparsely decorated pattern: thinly drawn arabesques lead to leaves with three or four lobes and occasional fruits (or leaves?) in the shape of hearts  or fans. It is an allover, very elegant design. The effect of elegance is enhanced by the simplicity of the proportions of the object which forms an almost complete cube.

Inside the box sits a black lacquer tray with a gold rim. The entire inner body is in perfect black lacquer and like the tray has a thin golden rim.

To the front as well as the back of the box the lid has a trefoil “cutout” echoing the shape of the leaves in the design. This “cutout” allows for a delicate round handle sitting on a round iron plaque, which, in turn, is finely etched with a tree with three segments in the shape of the hearts or fans found in the design.

This is a well composed and thoroughly thought through design object of high artistic merit.

The box is overall in very good condition, with slight damage to the lid.