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Japanese Hokkai Lacquered Picnic Baskets
- This pair of Edo-period lacquered Hokkai, or picnic baskets, was crafted for a daimyo lord
- The baskets were created for the celebration of hanami, or the blooming of cherry blossom trees
- Beautiful and elaborate Hokkai picnic baskets became essential accessories for these celebrations
- In pristine condition, these picnic baskets reflect the pinnacle of Japanese artistry
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During the peaceful Edo period (1603–1867), hanami flourished and revelers enjoyed multi-course meals under the shade of blossoming trees. As such, beautiful and elaborate Hokkai picnic baskets became essential accessories for these grand celebrations, acting as practical vessels for transporting meals and also as symbols of status and wealth. The lacquered bodies of these baskets are shaped by a series of stacked square rings. Mounted on four legs, the sides of each basket are embellished with motifs of bonsai trees, wildlife and birds all crafted from gilt gold and copper. Carrying handles made of thick braided ropes, elegantly fashioned from pale green silk, add a touch of refinement.
Similar, though singular, Hokkai picnic baskets can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum and the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum. In pristine condition and reflecting the pinnacle of Japanese artistry, this elegant pair of picnic baskets is a rare find.
15“ high by 14” wide by 14“ deep each