Kodansu (small cabinet)

Historical period(s)
Momoyama or Edo period, early 17th century
Lacquer, gold, shell on wood with gilt metal fittings
H x W x D: 28 x 21.3 x 33.4 cm (11 x 8 3/8 x 13 1/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Furniture and Furnishing, Lacquer


chasing, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Momoyama period (1573 - 1615), punching, repousse, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

Chrysanthemums in gold maki-e, the Japanese technique of sprinkling gold or silver powder on freshly applied lacquer, are accentuated by large inlays of iridescent shell. Meandering across the fronts of the drawers inside the cabinet is a floral design in the same materials. The Japanese preference for treating surfaces as a continuous space rather than as separate elements is beautifully demonstrated by this design.

Published References
  • Zaigai Nihon no Shiho [Japanese Art: Selections from Western Collections]. 10 vols., Tokyo, 1979 - 1980. vol. 10: pls. 12-13.
  • Alexander G. Mosle, Henri L. Joly. Japanese Works of Art: Armour, Weapons, Sword-fittings, Lacquer, Pictures, Textiles, Color-prints selected from the Mosle Collection. 2 vols. Leipzig. cat. 1679, vol. 2: pl. CV.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 111, vol. 2: p. 181.
  • Edward F. Strange, Victoria and Albert Museum. Catalogue of Japanese Lacquer. 2 vols., London. pp. 11-14.
  • Ann Yonemura. Japanese Lacquer. Washington, 1979. cat. 8, p. 20.
  • Alexander G. Mosle. The Mosle Collection: Descriptive Catalogue... Leipzig. cat. 1679, p. 33.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 92.
  • Martin Feddersen. Japanese Decorative Art: A Handbook for Collectors and Connoisseurs., 1st American ed. New York. p. 159, fig. 147.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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