A Japanese export lacquer hexagonal origami-shaped box, Edo period, late 17th/mid 18th Century.

The lid of this box is carved to represent six origami, or folded paper, triangles and in such a way that the tips seem to fold underneath each other.

It is decorated with pine, bamboo and cherry blossom in thinly raised gold makie, cut-gold foil, and painted lines on a densely applied gold powder pear-skin ground, 8.7cm in diameter.

The 1835 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Japan Closet, Glass case opposite the window, A small sexagon Box. Gold.’

The 1867 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Cabinets, No 88 Japan Closet, A small gold sexagon box.’

Exhibited: ‘Export Lacquer: Reflection of the West in Black & Gold Makie.’ 2008, Kyoto Museum & Suntory Museum, Tokyo, Cat. No.219.


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