Incense container (kogo)

Object is an incense container recently made from an old cedar knob or boss. It consists of a dome shaped lid which rests on a flange shaped base. The lid has been hollowed out and a small wooden dish has been inserted into the base. (This was recently done.) The base has a flat bottom and four square shaped holes through the shoulder which appear to be old.

The outer surface is dark and very weathered in texture. There are scattered remains of gilded lacquer on the lid and base. Microscopic examination reveals that the gilding (or regilding) occured after the lacquer surface had deteriorated.

Historical period(s)
Nara period, 710-794
Medium
Cryptomeria wood with traces of black lacquer with gold leaf
Dimensions
H x Diam (overall): 3.4 x 9.5 cm (1 5/16 x 3 3/4 in)
Geography
Japan, Toshodai-ji Temple
Credit Line
Gift of Peggy and Richard M. Danziger
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1998.22a-e
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Container
Type

Incense box

Keywords
incense, Japan, Nara period (645 - 794), WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1981
Setsu Iwao, Tokyo, to 1981 [1]

From 1981 to 1998
Peggy and Richard M. Danziger, New York, given by Setsu Iwao in 1981 [2]

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Peggy and Richard M. Danziger in 1998

Notes:

[1] According to Curatorial Note 2, Louise Cort, May 28, 1998, in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Peggy and Richard M. Danziger
Setsu Iwao
Hosomi Ryoichi 1901-1978

Description

Object is an incense container recently made from an old cedar knob or boss. It consists of a dome shaped lid which rests on a flange shaped base. The lid has been hollowed out and a small wooden dish has been inserted into the base. (This was recently done.) The base has a flat bottom and four square shaped holes through the shoulder which appear to be old.

The outer surface is dark and very weathered in texture. There are scattered remains of gilded lacquer on the lid and base. Microscopic examination reveals that the gilding (or regilding) occured after the lacquer surface had deteriorated.

Published References
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. P. 305.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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