Nov 3, 2016
Nov 2, 2016
Nov 2, 2016
Nov 2, 2016

Writing Box (Suzuribako) with Phoenix in Paulownia

Writing Box (Suzuribako) with Phoenix in Paulownia


late 1500s

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.)

Weight: 680 g (1.5 lbs.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2016.34


Did you know?

The only place the mythical phoenix will perch is the paulownia tree.


This box––a container for an inkstone, 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.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email