An incense container, in the shape of a buriburi toy, late 18th/early 19th Century.


A buriburi was a popular toy for boys in the Edo period (1603-1868), and was played with by tying a cord to spin it, or by attaching wheels to pull it. Later, objects replicating the buriburi form came to be regarded as amulets that were often exchanged as gifts. This container is decorated with ferns, branches of pine and fruiting citrus tachibana trees, including delicate touches of red lacquer, which are symbolic of the New Year, 11.3cm by 6.4cm by 5.9cm.

The 1835 Burghley Inventory records: “Japan Closet, Japan in the Glass case opposite the door(s), sic, G. J. A Boat shaped Box”.

The 1867 Burghley Inventory records: “Cabinets, No 88 Japan Closet, A gold japan boat shaped box”.


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