Cosmetics Box with Chrysanthemums

Cosmetics Box with Chrysanthemums

菊蒔絵手箱

early 1300s

Part of a set. See all set records

Lacquer on wood

Overall: 17.6 x 29 x 22.8 cm (6 15/16 x 11 7/16 x 9 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1963.513

Location

Fun Fact

In Japanese, this type of small box is called a tebako, literally a hand box, and was typically part of a cosmetics set.

Description

In China, the chrysanthemum was historically appreciated for its association with the Double Nine Festival and the reclusive life of the poet Tao Yuanming (AD 365-427). In Japan, the 16-petaled chrysanthemum came to symbolize the Japanese imperial family after Emperor Gotoba (1180-1239) chose the motif as his personal emblem, having it applied to his sword and everyday utensils. This box proves that the flower also appeared on lacquer wares as early as the Kamakura period.

See also
Collection: 
Japanese Art
Department: 
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Lacquer

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