Lacquered wood with gold and silver takamaki–e, hiramaki–e, togidashimaki–e, cut–out gold foil on nashiji and gold ground; H. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm), W. 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm), L. 17 1/2 in. (44.5 cm)
Anonymous Gift, from the Collection of the late Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin DeWitt Riegel, 1981 (1981.243.1a–f)
This lavishly decorated document box, together with the writing box described below, demonstrates the skill of Meiji-period maki-e masters. It is decorated with a scene of a sunny spring day: flowering cherry trees, a young willow tree, and a pleasure boat carrying a large gagaku (ancient court music) drum, as described in chapter 24 of The Tale of Genji. Genji, Murasaki, and several courtiers set out for a spring boat party accompanied by musicians, and later exchange poems in celebration of the season.