Condition: Excellent

Large Japanese Black Kamakura-Bori Lacquer Lacquer Ryoshibako | Document Box | Japanese Lacquer Art | Showa Period – 1930

Lacquerware (shikki) or nurimono (coated things) is a traditional method of finishing wooden pieces in Japan. Many steps are taken to refine and prepare the lacquer, and even more intricate steps are taken to create/finish/ornament many exquisite objects. This beautiful document box is made of wood with a glossy black, (roiro), lacquer finish. The Takamakie, (high relief), carved plum blossom design on the top represents a beautifully rendered element to an overall smooth surface. It is a superb and lovely example of this historic craft. Condition: The lacquer on this piece is structurally sound with no splits, cracks, or scratches, (low interior rim, which hold the lid in place is a little rough from use). Dimensions: 9-1/4”w” x 13-0” x 4-1/4”.

Additional Information—

Craftsmen at this time began applying between 8-16 coats, (this gives the depth of color indicating quality), of thin lacquer to a carved wood base. In this way, production time, (drying), was reduced making lacquerware available beyond temples, reaching the samurai, (who studied the arts and customs), merchants, and eventually the general population.

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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