A four-case inro, 18th Century.

An inro is a small multi-compartmented container for carrying medicines, perfumes or cosmetics, usually suspended from a kimono obi, or sash. This one would originally have been intended for the domestic market, although it was subsequently exported. It is recorded that in the second half of the seventeenth century, the Batavia office of the Dutch East Indies Company requested the Nagasaki trading factory to fill the drawers of exported large chests with small, light lacquer objects, such as this. It is decorated with a scene of thatched houses in a rural landscape, in brown lacquer with silver raised and unpolished makie, fine gold powder and chased tin inlay, 7cm.


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