This is a vintage red Kamakura-Bori Urushi lacquered document box, with a carved lid in an Peony motif done in Takamakie, (high relief), made with multiple layers of lacquer creating a beautiful sculptural effect. The side of the lid is beautifully textured and carved, giving further decorative detailing to the piece. The interior is black and contains two lacquered pieces so as to separate documents. Excellent condition with no dings or chips. Typical of the period, the piece is not signed and was made for the Japanese market. Age: Early Showa, (1926). Dimensions: 9-1/2”L x 6-1/2”w x 1-1/2”h
The art of lacquerware most likely arrived in Japan from China via the Chinese writing system. By the Kamakura period, (1185-1333), Japanese craftsman, under the influence of the Song Dynasty arts, focused on carving Buddhist imagery into thick coats of lacquer, (Kamakura-bori). 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. In 1979, Kamakura-bori was designated a Traditional Handicraft by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
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