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A Lacquer Accessory Box (Tebako)
A Lacquer Accessory Box (Tebako)


A Lacquer Accessory Box (Tebako)
Taisho period (early 20th century)
The rectangular box designed with a kingfisher in flight and reeds lacquered in gold, silver and black takamaki-e with hirame embellishments, the background glossy roiro-nuri at the top of the box gradually changing to kinji in the bottom right corner of one of the long sides of the box; the inner removable, bracket-footed tray decorated with a fishing boat moored next to a rocky shore, the boat brown and gold takamaki-e, the bank gold takamaki-e with kinpun, kirigane and hirame, the grounds roiro-nuri and the mists rendered in mura-nashiji, the water gold and silver togidashi, underside of tray and interior of box dense nashiji; the underside of the tray with an Imperial Collection label; rims silver
9 5/8 x 8 x 4¾in. (24.3 x 20.4 x 12cm.)

Lot Essay

Lacquer art in Japan during the late 19th and early 20th century flourished as a vital and innovative art form. The transition of lacquer art from an export product to a distinct art form was galvanized by such notable artists as Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891) (see lot 48), Shirayama Shosai (1853-1923) and Akatsuka Jitoku (1871-1936). Each of these artists is known for his bold, fresh designs and technical excellence. During the first decades of the 20th century, Jitoku, who may have designed this box, incorporated designs that ran across several surfaces of his objects, often oriented diagonally over the corners. He also favored granular gold grounds progessively darkening to a glossy black. Using these techniques Jitoku was able to create a sense of space and give an impression of a particular time of day, such as twilight or dusk, similar to what is achieved in this tebako.

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