Condition: Excellent

Japanese Kamakura-Bori Red Lacquer Fumibako, (Letter Box) | Showa Period 1926-1989

This is an exceptionally beautiful and vintage red Kamakura-Bori, (Urushi), lacquered Fumibako are used to store letters as well as other personal, cherished papers, books, and documents from memorable ceremonies and events. The letter box with Takamakie, (high relief), carved and shaped lid, in an Iris motif, on a chiseled textured background. The sides of the box is slightly tapered and has a high gloss, unornamented finish. The interior and bottom of the box is finished in black lacquer for which the exterior bottom has a low relief wave design. The piece is in excellent condition, consistent of age shows minimal wear to bottom, interior, and corners which are free from splitting/cracking. Usage and age have rendered a beautifully patinated surface.Typical of the period, the piece is not signed and was made for the Japanese market. Dimensions: 9-0” w x 12-0”L x 2-1/2”d. 

Additional Information —
Kamakura lacquer ware has some very special qualities that cannot be found in any other lacquer ware. The method which emphasizes the three dimensional effect of the bold patterns of the carving are also strongly expressed by this unique carving technique. In the early days, huge containers used for burning incense at Zen Buddhist temples were mainly produced, but the range of products gradually increased to include tea utensils for the popularity of the tea ceremony at the end of the Muromachi period (1333-1568). It was not until the beginning of the Meiji period (1868-1912), however, that everyday articles such as letter and writing boxes finished in Kamakura lacquer started to appear.

Specific terms for Japanese decorative lacquer techniques:

Hiramakie (low relief): the design is contained in one lacquer layer that stands up very slightly above the polished or textured surface.

Takamakie (high relief): the design is made with multiple lacquer layers, creating a sculptural effect.

Todigdashi makie: the design is covered with lacquer layers and the surface is polished completely smooth with or without hand painting.

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