AN EXQUISITE JAPANESE SCRIBE’S BOX
MEIJI PERIOD CIRCA 1880
Almost perfect condition with two tiny dinks.
Length 8 ¾” (22cm) Width 7 7/8” (20 cm) Height 1 ½” (4 cm)
Of very fine Makie-E lacquer work on a red ground, the polychrome cover depicts a courtly lady seated on the sloping trunk of a flowering prunus tree in a garden enclosed by a trellis. The inside cover displays a flower laden cart overflowing with foliage. The interior of the box contains the inkstone and the white metal water dropper on a red lacquer ground with a scribes table among flowering foliage. The entire surface of the box is sprinkled with gold dust apart from the underside which is of plain black lacquer.
The high esteem accorded calligraphy in premodern Japanese culture is reflected in these writing boxes which, as in this case, were created using the finest materials and craftsmanship.