A small sumiaka-shaped box, late 18th/early 19th Century.


Sumiaka refers to a type of surface decoration using cloud patterns in red lacquer on a coarse fabric-textured ground. The piece, which could be either a cosmetic box, or an incense container,  is decorated with birds and pine branches and is mounted with two rings which have charming shell-shaped bases and gilt-bronze eyelets, 10.5cm.
The 1835 Burghley Inventory records: “Japan Closet, Japan in the Glass case opposite the door(s), sic, B. G & Red A Box”.
The 1867 Burghley Inventory records: “Cabinets, No 88 Japan Closet, A black, gold and red japan box”.


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