Japanese Lacquerware Box

Vintage Japanese Lacquer Sea Bream Kashibako (confectionery box) with Lid



Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 9-1/2L” x 5-1/8w” x 2-0”h

Shown is a beautiful, large Japanese wood-based Kashibako lacquer box in form of a massive tai (red sea bream) fish. The fish is very lifelike in its natural size and is completely covered using Kamakura lacquer technique: dark red on the outside with yellow belly, black the interior. Its raised tail & pectoral fin served as handle & finial respectively. The scales are in gorgeous detail along with the fins, and a wonderful carved detail with rich colors. A unique serving piece similar to this is only used during the formal tea ceremony and dinners like Kaiseki or Omakase, which is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, not unlike Western haute cuisine where dishes are specifically selected by the host. The piece is unsigned which is common for these functional serving pieces.

Vintage Condition: Excellent and as originally made. “As is” with minimal effects from aging and use, and retains the original color, craft, and workmanship. Any discoloration, chipping/cracking, surface wear, or structural damage is noted. 

NOTE: Kamakura-Bori was originally produced for the ruling class of feudal Japan, depicting religious and political figures. Later Kamakura-bori was produced for all classes for home use, and for commercial use in food establishments.

Kamakura Lacquer is a highly developed type of wood carving stained and polished. A motif is carved in wood that has been cut from the Katsura tree or Japanese Judas in which flora and fauna are featured in the patterns. It is most commonly applied to formal household items such as trays, presentation plates, coasters, hand mirrors, or boxes. Its origin is considered to be the carved lacquerware of ‘Tsuishu red lacquer’ and ‘Tsuikoku black lacquer’ that came from China along with Zen Buddhism in the Kamakura period.