Among the recorded Momoyama-period export trunks with drawers are a smaller example with two drawers in the Jos Lico collection, Lisbon, and another with three drawers and roughly the same dimensions (63.8 x 143.2 x 52cm.) as this piece that was formerly in London and is now in a private Japanese collection [see 1 below]. However, both of these other trunks are decorated in the all-over shell inlay style also seen in the famous Rushbrooke Hall trunk now in the Victoria and Albert Museum [see 2 below]. The present lot is believed to be the largest known example of a Nanban trunk with drawers, decorated in the more usual style of hiramaki-e panels within geometric borders.
1 Nanban Bunkakan, Osaka and Muses Royaux d'Art de d'Histoire, Brussels, Art Namban, Les Portugais au Japon (Nambankunst, Portugezen in Japan) [Nanban art: the Portuguese in Japan] (Brussels, 1989), no. 68; Kyoto Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan [Kyoto National Museum], Makie, shikkoku to ogon no Nihonbi [The beauty of black and gold Japanese lacquer] (Kyoto, 1995), no. 147.
2 Joe Earle (ed.), The Toshiba Gallery: Japanese Art and Design [in the Victoria and Albert Museum] (London, 1986), no. 149.