Japanese Seal Paste Box

Vintage Japanese Brass Seal Paste Box and Cover | Calligraphers Ink Box (Shuniku)



Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 2-7/8” square x 1-0”h

This finely etched stamp box for a cinnabar seal paste pad and made for desk use, (shuniku-ire) is made from solid brass and copper back with decorative cover features traditional nature scene consisting of Chrysanthemum, wild flowers and grasses. The stamp well needs to be replenished, as they regularly are, to be suitable for use in stamping. This beautiful little box was acquired in the historic city of Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji. A true calligraphers find. There is an unidentified craftsman’s incised mark is on the bottom of the box. The piece comes in its identified Kiriwood box.

Vintage Condition: This piece is in very good condition for its age, though there are a few minor surface scratches that does not take away from the beauty of the piece. “As is”, and retains the original craft/workmanship. The interior of the case residue from the previous seal ink pad that was regularly used. Any discoloration, surface wear, or structural damage is noted.

NOTE: Signature stamps or hanko as they are called by the Japanese have a long tradition as the formal form of endorsement of any item requiring acknowledgement or authorship. Unlike in the west where each individual utilizes their unique signature, Japanese individuals have their own hanko representing their family household. The kanji used to form jitsuin, (hanko which is registered at city hall or a ward office), is highly stylized and virtually unreadable and thereby quite difficult to forge. Red is the most popular ink color for official stamping and stamps of artists, publishers and are commonly seen on classic art such as woodblock prints and art books, (see red image in photos). And finally, if you have ever purchased stationery goods in Japan you will notice that there is no glue to seal envelopes. The reason is because Japanese do not “lick” envelopes to seal them. They use an unpersonalized hanko to securely close such pieces.