Japanese Lacquer Document Box and Cover

  • This exquisite Meiji-period Japanese document box is a lacquerware masterpiece
  • The monumental box is adorned with tranquil scenes both inside and out
  • Circa 1880
  • 12 7/8” wide x 6 3/8” deep x 17 1/8” high
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 29-9113

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  This monumental Japanese lacquer-ware document box is a work of extraordinary artistry. Displaying an exquisite beauty thanks to its tranquil landscape scene, this luminous, Meiji-period container is executed in a range of skillfully wrought lacquer techniques, including hiramaki-e and nashiji. This stunning decoration covers the entirety of the box inside and out, with the interior adorned with a sea of intricate, miniature lacquer scenes.

Long admired in China, Korea, and Japan for both its protective and aesthetic properties, lacquer has been used for millennia to create and decorate a variety of objects, from food and writing utensils to storage containers for paper, textiles, and other materials sensitive to environmental damage. The art of lacquering is one of the most labor-intensive in the world, due in part to its high toxicity. Raw lacquer must be applied slowly and with great care, and each coat must be fully dry before the next one can be applied. As several dozen coats of lacquer are applied to an object, the manufacturing of lacquered items may take months or even years of intermittent labor to complete. Because of these labor costs, combined with the costs of the precious metals used, high-quality lacquer wares were often extremely expensive.

Circa 1880

12 7/8” wide x 6 3/8” deep x 17 1/8” high 
This Meiji-period box sports exquisite lacquer artistry both inside and out
Period: 19th Century
Origin: Asia
Type: Desk Accessories
Depth: 6.38 Inches
Width: 12.88 Inches
Height: 17.13 Inches

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