A two-tiered Japanese export lacquer box and cover, late 17th/early 18th Century.

The exterior of the diamond shaped box is decorated with a phoenix, roses and pine trees, 16.4cm.

It encloses a fitted tray on which are depicted three minogame in a pine forest by a stream; the turtles traditionally symbolic of longevity and wisdom.

The 1835 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Japan Closet, Japan in the Glass case opposite the door(s), sic, G. J A Diamond shaped box with two divisions.’

The 1867 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Cabinets, No 88 Japan Closet, A gold japan diamond shaped box with 2 divisions.’

Exhibited: ‘Export Lacquer: Reflection of the West in Black & Gold Makie.’ 2008, Kyoto Museum & Suntory Museum, Tokyo, Cat. No.203.


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