Inkstone box

Inkstone box (suzuribako) consisting of: inkstone box (a-b), interior partition assembly (c), inkstone (d), water-dropper (e), and water-dropper holder (f). It is housed in a black lacquer outer box with a stained silk wrapper.

This suzuribako is a fine example of maki-e lacquer from the late Muromachi period. The design on the exterior of the lid is executed in gold and silver in low relief (takamaki-e). It depicts camellias behind a garden fence, with metal-sheathed wooden hoes in the foreground. The interior of the box is decorated in gold maki-e with a scene of a flowering plum tree growing beside a pond. A pair of frogs, an unusual motif in Japanese maki-e works, is depicted in the pond. The interior of the box is decorated with flowering plum branches and the silver water-dropper (suiteki) is cast in the form of a plum blossom.

Historical period(s)
Muromachi period, 16th century
Medium
Lacquer on wood, gold and silver flakes; silver; stone (takamaki-e)
Dimensions
H x W x D: 2.7 x 14.5 x 15.3 cm (1 1/16 x 5 11/16 x 6 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase — funds provided by the Friends of Asian Arts and the Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1992.9a-h
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Container, Lacquer
Type

Inkstone box

Keywords
camellia, frog, Japan, maki-e, Muromachi period (1333 - 1573), plum blossom, writing, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1992
Mr. Yoshiyuki Hosomi, Tokyo, to 1992

From 1992
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Mr. Yoshiyuki Hosomi in 1992

Previous Owner(s)

Hosomi Yoshiyuki

Description

Inkstone box (suzuribako) consisting of: inkstone box (a-b), interior partition assembly (c), inkstone (d), water-dropper (e), and water-dropper holder (f). It is housed in a black lacquer outer box with a stained silk wrapper.

This suzuribako is a fine example of maki-e lacquer from the late Muromachi period. The design on the exterior of the lid is executed in gold and silver in low relief (takamaki-e). It depicts camellias behind a garden fence, with metal-sheathed wooden hoes in the foreground. The interior of the box is decorated in gold maki-e with a scene of a flowering plum tree growing beside a pond. A pair of frogs, an unusual motif in Japanese maki-e works, is depicted in the pond. The interior of the box is decorated with flowering plum branches and the silver water-dropper (suiteki) is cast in the form of a plum blossom.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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