Antique Japanese Black Lacquer Buddhist Fubako, (Letter Box) with Gold Maki-e Design | Meiji Period

Sale price$595.00

Dimensions: 4-0”h x 3-7/8”w x 16-0”l

A Japanese high gloss black lacquered letter box, (Fubako). This very decorative Japanese lacquerware box employs maki-e decorative technique to feature mons of ‘Myoga’ ginger, (A common motif for family crests and associated with military furnishings and Buddhism for the auspicious connotations of Myoga derives from the fact that its name is homonymic for “divine protection), and leafed vines throughout which increase the contrast of  the outer surfaces. The technique for which the greatest beauty of lacquer is that it was used to decorate the most precious of objects for religious figures, samurai, and the wealthy citizens. The interior contains its original removable shallow tray for storage with hidden box interior with a finger cutout at the base for removal. It has two gold fitted ring clasps on the sides of the bottom section with attached silk orange cord and tassels and used to tie both sections (lid and base container) together. 

The piece is housed in its original Kiri, (Paulownia) box, with its own storage straps, and was used to present precious treasures, and tp protect beautiful objects from humidity. While not being considered a normal storage box, it continued to play an important role to Japanese people. Having its original signed handmade box makes this piece even more valuable for it has the signature and identification of the maker.

Antique Condition: This piece is in excellent antique condition with no corner separations, no loss of the base lacquer or gold motif, and without dings on any interior or exterior surface. The cord and tassels are frayed and slightly faded over time which is exactly what it should be for an antique original. 

Note: Maki-e is a distinctive Japanese lacquerware technique that is said to have developed around 1200 years ago. Japanese artisans who employed skills and techniques handed down usually through family lines that involves using a fine brush to paint a pictures, patterns and letters with lacquer on the surface of a vessel creating a design.