These two bottles are very similar to a celebrated set of six, in their original lacquered storage box, now in Kyoto National Museum and formerly in a private collection in Crewkerne, Dorset. The size is the same and the designs differ only in that the Crewkerne bottles have long-tailed birds as well as plants on the sides and plants rather than shells on the shoulders, and the panels are seperated with namban karakusa scrolls instead of shell mosaic. The Crewkerne bottles have recently been catalogued in Japan as 16th rather than 17th century1. Two similar bottles of the same date are in the Namban Bunkakan, Osaka 2, and later lacquer bottles, in the same shape but smaller and with decoration more characteristic of the second half of the 17th century, can be seen at Polesden Lacey, Surrey.
1 Kyoto National Museum, Makie, shikkoku to ogon no Nihonbi [The beauty of black and gold Japanese lacquer] (Kyoto, 1995), cat. no. 157.
2 Sakai City Museum, Namban shikki [Namban lacquerware] (Osaka, 1983), cat. no. 49, also reproduced in Yoshimura Motoo, Makie (Kyoto, 1976), vol. 2, cat. no. 190.