Japanese Vintage 19th Century Black Pigskin and Hand Painted Treasure Box


Dimensions: 10-0”h x 18-0”w x 12-0”l 

This 19th-century Treasure Box has a black lacquered Pigskin ground over a wood base with an exceptional hand-forged, beautifully patinated, and thick locking device with two dragons as the motif with a key and original tassel. It has the original side C-scroll handles allowing the piece to be moved more easily. The façade showcases gilded calligraphy which is unusual and refers to blessing and longevity. The interior of this treasure chest is leather lined in an orange color Pig Skin which is thin and has a soft touch and small scattered random surface texture with no decoration. The piece firmly sits on a large and separate C-scroll leg Rosewood display stand which is the same dimension and age, matching perfectly to the chest.

Condition: Very Good to Excellent with a wonderfully-developed patina commensurate with only a few minor dings on the edges of the lid and unrestored adding to the beauty of this unusual chest. 

Additional Information: The chest being offered is one that was made for carrying daily treasures while traveling throughout the beautiful island of Japan. But that is not to say that they were not beautifully made and ornamented with symbols and motifs treasured and valued by the Japanese people such as the piece pictured in this offer. 

The Japanese chest and trunk which belong to a select group, were made around 1640 when the Dutch traders managed to secure high-quality pieces made of wood, covered in pigskin or lacquer from workshops in Kyoto, and at the time, items produced in unprecedented quantities. These were a curious mixture of Japanese and European motifs that "Europeans" wanted, all executed through a highly skilled and lavish decorative technique called maki-e incorporating extensive amounts of silver and gold.