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”.
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.
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