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