This box, intended to hold incense, is in the shape of a manju, a traditional round Japanese sweetmeat.
It is decorated with branches of plum blossom and pine shoots, complete with roots; the lid carries an encoded inscription in ink.
This piece may have been selected for export from a lot originally destined for the domestic market, diameter 8.2cm, height 4.3cm.
The 1835 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Japan Closet, Glass case opposite the window, Two round Boxes. Black & Gold.’ (See JWA 09073).
The 1867 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Cabinets, No 88 Japan Closet, 2 black and gold japan circular boxes.’ (See JWA 09073).