A Japanese export lacquer box and cover, late 17th Century.

The rectangular box, with canted corners, is decorated in gold hiromaki-e with wild geese, citrus tachibana and pine against a nashiji ground.

It has an interior tray decorated with a flight of plover, and almost certainly originally contained several smaller boxes for the incense ceremony.

Due to the similarity of the interior decoration with that of the shallow incense container JWA09020, it has been suggested that the latter may have been associated with this box when it entered the Burghley Collection, 22.5cm wide.

The 1835 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Japan Closet, Japan in the Glass case opposite the window, A square Box with a Tray inside Black & Gold.’

The 1867 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Cabinets, No 88 Japan Closet, A black and gold square box with a tray inside.’


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