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AN EXPORT LACQUER DOMED CHEST
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AN EXPORT LACQUER DOMED CHEST

MOMOYAMA PERIOD (LATE 16TH-EARLY 17TH CENTURY)

Details
AN EXPORT LACQUER DOMED CHEST
Momoyama Period (Late 16th-Early 17th Century)
Of rectangular form with hinged domed lid, the exterior black lacquer ground decorated in gold hiramaki-e and inlaid with mother-of-pearl depicting geometrical patterns and stylised flowers between a chequered border, the interior black lacquer, gilt bronze fittings chased with fruiting vine and scrolling foliage on a nanako ground, old damage
2 5/8 x 4 1/8 x 2 3/8in. (7.2 x 10.4 x 6cm.)
Literature
Michael Dean, Netsuke Kenkyukai Study Journal, Four Groups of Japanese Namban Lacquer, (Fall, 1983), vol. 13, no. 2, p. 50
Mike and Hiroko Dean, Nihon no Shikki Japanese Lacquer - an Exposition (Kyoto, 1984), no. 44
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis

Lot Essay

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.
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