Writing Box (Suzuribako) with Phoenix in Paulownia

Writing Box (Suzuribako) with Phoenix in Paulownia

c. 1573-1599

Part of a set. See all set records

Lacquer on wood with sprinkled gold and silver powder (maki-e) and gold and silver foil application

4 x 20.5 x 23.5 cm (1 9/16 x 8 1/16 x 9 1/4 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2016.34

Description

This box––a container for an ink-stone, brushes, and ink––is both functional and lavish, its dramatic effects achieved with a pear-skin ground decoration (nashiji), and sprinkled powder decoration in high relief (takamaki-e). In contrast to the bright, celebratory motifs on the exterior, the interior of the box invites a more reflective mood with its autumn moonlit sky over chrysanthemums.

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