Food Box with Striped Decoration and Chinese Figures
early 17th century
Black lacquer with gold and silver maki-e and mother-of-pearl inlay
H. 10 5/8 in. (27 cm); W. 7 11/16 in. (19.5 cm); D. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm)
Promised Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving
The geometric patterns on the side of this tiered food box derive from Indian and Southeast Asian textiles introduced to Japan as part of the global trade that linked different parts of Asia with each other and with the West. The clothing and setting identify the three figures on the top of the box as Chinese, and it is possible that this use of figural imagery was spurred by an awareness of the depiction of figures in contemporaneous lacquer from China and Okinawa (Ryūkyū Islands).
Object Type / Material
Date / Era