Reading Stand with Design of Pine, Bamboo, and Cherry Blossom
Edo period (1615–1868)
Sprinkled gold on lacquer (maki-e)
H. 24 3/16 in. (61.4 cm); W. 26 7/16 in. (67.2 cm); D. 11 3/4 in. (29.8 cm)
Frederick C. Hewitt Fund, 1910
Not on view
Well-born Japanese brides brought elaborate sets of household articles in gold- and silver-sprinkled lacquer to their new homes. Their trousseaux usually contained writing implements, tea utensils, toiletry articles, and equipment for such refined pursuits as incense games and the tea ceremony. Gold, which was carefully rationed by a sumptuary law specifying the permitted amount for various ranks, was lavishly expended on wedding sets. These ensembles were rarely used and, after being displayed at the wedding, were preserved in storerooms and handed down as heirlooms.
The lacquer objects on display bear the Maeda and Shimazu family crests, probably those of the influential daimyo lords of the Kaga clan in Kanazawa and the Satsuma clan in Kagoshima.