• Lot 4

    RARE ET IMPORTANT COFFRE EN LAQUE NANBAN

    JAPON, EPOQUE MOMOYAMA, FIN DU XVIEME-DEBUT DU XVIIEME SIECLE

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    RARE ET IMPORTANT COFFRE EN LAQUE NANBAN
    JAPON, EPOQUE MOMOYAMA, FIN DU XVIEME-DEBUT DU XVIIEME SIECLE
    De forme rectangulaire, les quatre côtés du coffre ainsi que le couvercle bombé à décor de panneaux délimités par des cadres en incrustations de nacre et de larges bandes à motifs de treillis losangés ou hexagonaux rehaussés en leur centre d'un chrysanthème, les panneaux à fond pailleté de nacre et ornés de cartouches polylobés à décor laqué or et brun sur fond noir et incrustations de nacre de scènes animalières dans des paysages fleuris et arborés, la face principale du coffre agrémentée de tigres et de paons, les petits côtés de singes et de chèvres, le couvercle de coqs et de daims, ces deux derniers médaillons rehaussés d'une bordure élaborée faite d'un quadrillage de nacre, les côtés du couvercle ornés du kaye-mon des Katô de Minakuchi, le dos agrémenté de deux médaillons à décor laqué or de rinceaux végétaux, l'intérieur du couvercle décoré en laque noire, or, ocre et blanche de trois grues volant parmi des lianes feuillagées de vigne vierge, l'intérieur du coffre et la base peints en noir, les ferrures, les fermoirs et les poignées en métal ; petits manques et petites zones de restaurations
    Dimensions: 133 x 59,3 x 64,5 cm. (52 3/8 x 23 3/8 x 25 3/8 in.)


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    This chest is a product of the brief, dynamic period of interaction between East and West around 1600, a period that produced some remarkable art. Between 1571 and 1640 Portuguese traders accompanied by Jesuit missionaries sailed into the Bay of Nagasaki once a year in an enormous carrack. Until 1624 there was also a small trade between the Japanese and the Spanish, who were based in the Philippine Islands. The Dutch East India Company arrived in 1609.

    The Portuguese took advantage of local craftsmanship to commission utensils that they could use in their new churches in Japan or export to the West for profit. Late 16th-century Japanese lacquer was highly prized in Europe and most Nanban [southern barbarian] lacquers, so called because the Iberian traders came to Japan from the south, have been found in recent years in the West.

    Nanban lacquers are characterized by a density of decoration that seems quite un-Japanese, and this example is no exception. No surface is left uncovered. The formal geometric borders and strong symmetry are also alien to traditional Japanese design.
    The Nanban lacquers are distinguished by their use of sparkling mother-of-pearl, a technique that achieved great popularity at this time. There are two possible sources of influence for the increased use of shell. Portuguese traders in Goa acquired objects with wood and ivory inlay produced by Indian craftsmen. Simultaneously, Hideyoshi's invasion of Korea in the late 16th century may have exposed the Japanese to Korean lacquers, which are lavishly decorated with shell inlay.

    See another very impressive Nanban chest with domed lid and three drawers, sold in our London Rooms, 16 June 1999, lot 135.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT payable at 19.6% (5.5% for books) will be added to the buyer’s premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis


    Provenance

    From a private French collection


    Post Lot Text

    A RARE AND IMPORTANT NANBAN LACQUER CHEST
    JAPAN, MOMOYAMA PERIOD, LATE 16TH/EARLY 17TH CENTURY