Exhibitions/ Art Object
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桃山時代 幾何蒔絵螺鈿洋櫃
Chest with a Single Drawer

Period:
Momoyama period (1573–1615)
Date:
late 16th–early 17th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Gold lacquer with hiramaki-e and mother-of-pearl inlay; gilt copper fittings
Dimensions:
H. 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm); W. 13 3/16 in. (33.5 cm); L. 19 7/16 in. (49.4 cm)
Classification:
Lacquer
Credit Line:
Purchase, Barbara and William Karatz Gift, 2008
Accession Number:
2008.182a, b
Not on view
This spectacular chest belongs to a category of goods known as nanban (literally southern barbarians), produced for trade with Portugal and other European countries in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. While the shape of the chest derives from European traditions, the geometric patterns on the top and sides were most likely influenced by the Indian textiles that were widely traded at the time. On the other hand, the delicate floral scroll on the front is an East Asian motif, imported into Japan from China around the eighth century.
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