A pair of Japanese export lacquer plum blossom-shaped boxes and covers, 18th Century.

The boxes are decorated with pavilions and large motifs of pine and plum branches and sprays of camellia, rose and daffodil, 6.5cm high, diameter 10.5cm.

The 1835 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Japan Closet, Glass case opposite the window, Two pentagon Boxes with Trays inside Black & Gold.’

The 1867 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Cabinets, No 88 Japan Closet, 2 black and gold japan pentagon boxes with trays inside.’

It seems entirely possible that these five-lobed boxes reflect this entry; the trays having been lost.

Exhibited: ‘Export Lacquer: Reflection of the West in Black & Gold Makie.’ 2008, Kyoto Museum & Suntory Museum, Tokyo, Cat. No.197.


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