The footed, round bowls of this sort (marubachi) were used in the Negoro Temple and its several subsidiary temples, for the serving of food. A similar tray bearing four bowls each on a stand is illustrated in the Boki ekotoba, a handscroll depicting the life of the priest Kakunyo, of the Pure Land sect, painted in 1351. As the Negoro Temple was burned down by Hideyoshi in 1585, after the monks had rebelled, only those pieces before this date are, strictly, original Negoro lacquer, though later pieces may be as fine or even finer than the early examples.
Similar examples are illustrated in Kawada Sadamu, Negoro Lacquer (Kyoto, 1985), pl. 96, 101 and 102. Others with the dish red and the foot black are illustrated on pl. 104 and 105. A further example in the Irving Collection in the Metropolitan Museum New York, is illustrated in James Watt and Barbara Brennan Ford, East Asian Lacquer; the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection (New York, 1991), pl. 76.
A similar example was sold in these Rooms, 19 June 2002, Lot 6.