The famous set of Hatsune-maki-e furnishings was ordered as a wedding trousseau by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun, in the fourteenth year of Kan'ei (1637) on the birth of his eldest daughter, Chiyohime. Comprising at least 57 major items of furniture, utensils and sets, it was made in less than three years in the lacquer workshops of Koami Nagashige. The metalwork for the inlays and fittings was done by Goto Kenjo. Chiyohime brought the trousseau with her on her marriage to Mitsutomo, the second lord of the Owri Tokugawa, in September 1639. This large set of lacquer furniture and accessories was known as Higurashi-no-chodo [all-day-long furniture] because it was said that it was impossible to be bored by looking at it. It was considered to be of the finest quality ever achieved in Japanese lacquer art. A few pieces were dispersed in the post-Meiji period, but the large majority are still in the collection of the Owari branch of the Tokugawa family in the Tokugawa Art Museum in Nagoya. There are a few pieces known which are of the same design and techniques as the Chiyohime set but are no longer in the Owari Tokugawa collection. It is difficult to determine whether or not all of these originally belonged to the Chiyohime trousseau. Additional pieces could have been made to the order of Iemitsu by the same workshops in the same style and around the same time.
The Chiyohime chodo [furnishings] are illustrated in Tokugawa Art Museum, Hatsune no Chodo [Hatsune maki-e lacquer furnishings] Nagoya, 1985) and in the catalogue of Daimyo Konrei Chodo, an exhibition on the 20th anniversary of the Okayama Art Museum, 1984.
The reason for the replacement of the aoi-mon on the present piece by kiku would have been either to relieve it of its gold foil or, more likely, to conceal the origin of the piece when it was released by the Tokugawa collection.