Vintage Japanese Kamakura-bori Lacquered Card Box | Barley Motif | 1930

This Kamakura-bori card box, made in the Showa period, features a Japanese bold carving of Barley. Symbols and motifs have always been an integral part of Japanese aesthetics, both in traditional and modern designs. These symbols can be found integrated in many products and in this case symbolizes wishes of the continuation of life. The dark clairet color with overlaid lacquer is outstanding. After the forming and drying process, the artist uses dozens of chisels and engraving knives to carve patterns, which it then takes more than 10 steps to lacquer with natural resins. The designs and styles of the Kamakura-bori have changed over the years but old traditions are still kept alive and practiced. This small box is beautifully shaped from the fitted lid to the  taped and curved sides of the box. Condition: Quality is defined by the amount and level of detailed carving, the number of layers of lacquer, and condition. NOTE: Playing cards are not included with this card box. They are only for example. Inscribed on the inside of the lid. Dimensions: 5-0”L x 4-0”w x  5/8”h.

Additional Information —

“Playing-cards are known in Japan askaruta, a word derived for the Portuguese carta. They also receive the name of fuda… or bakuchi no fuda, that is, “gambling cards”. There are several kinds in general use, of which the commonest, which are used for gambling, are called Hana-garuta, or “Flower cards “, and the game which is played with them, Hana-awase, or “Flower matching”. Other card games focus on Proverbs, and poets.

From the Showa Period (1926-1989) and until now, people have shown appreciation for things traditional, practical and beautiful. Japanese lacquerware stands out as a functional and esthetically pleasing alternative to the generic mass produced, plastic products of today. In 1979, Kamakura-bori was designated a Traditional Handicraft by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. For Historical information on Japanese Lacquer please see our Discovery Section:

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