Simply exquisite Taisho Period, (c.1920’s), traveling bento box, (used in the Japanese countryside to carry luncheon rice cakes). This fine, delicate bamboo herring bone weave is a work of art framed on all edges/corners with strips of darker bamboo retaining its golden brown and rosewood color patina. It has its original bronze metal locking device, hinges and side handles, along with its original cord strap and gold damask lining. The ultimate Mingei folk art. Condition: Beautiful and consistent with age, and fully intact with the exception of the bronze pin for locking. Dimensions: 6-0” w 4-1/2”d x 3-1/2”h
Bento has always been a symbol of a person’s social status, wealth, and influence. Bento lunch boxes have a life of their own and although their history will always be rooted in Japanese history and culture they have transcended national boundaries into a lifestyle or philosophy. Bento embodies aesthetics and beauty, the complex and mundane, politics, socio-economics, love and joy. Obento’s transient nature gives it a lingering grace that bestows the eater with not only the food of life but the meaning of life itself.
Although the bento became widespread in Japan throughout the course of history it was not until the Meiji Period, (1868-1912), that the bento became an icon of convenience for all workers and travelers alike.
Excellent Condition- In unused, or like-unused condition. No visual or structural or surface wear or damage shown. Pristine. As good as the day it was made.
Great Condition- Appears in slightly used condition but looks "Like New". Some minor wear, but retains the original craft/workmanship. May show minor wear, that does not affect the main design, or associated motif. No cracks, dents, chips or missing elements.
Good Condition- Minor wear which can be restored or repaired; may have surface flaws, like staining or soiling, confined to a small area. The flaw(s) are counterbalanced by another feature, like brilliant color or innovative design. Some fading or the piece may have been altered in some fashion.
Fair Condition- Main aesthetic/design showing damage. Excessive noticeable wear or damage. Worth buying if can be restored/repaired because of its aesthetic or design appeal or rarity. Note: wear/damage consistent with age/use can often enhance the 'Antique' qualities of a piece, giving it a desirable second chance in one's collection