Of unusually small size, this chest belongs to the group of lacquers made during the propagation of Christianity in Japan through the Jesuits. Precise dating of Christian Namban lacquer is difficult but it is generally taken to be after 1590 when the Korean influence on lacquer was felt and before 1614, when the procecution of the Christians began. Contemporary with these chests are the lecterns, cylindrical pyxides or host-boxes, portable retables or travelling shrines, often decorated with the Jesuit monogram. Although Korean lacquerwork was already known in Japan in the Muromachi Period, it seems to have had little effect on contemporary lacquer. It was Hideyoshi's two Korean campaigns at the end of the 16th century which brought Korean craftsmen and objects to Japan, which seems to have been one of the main influences of the development of this style.