Pair of Sake Caskets


Not on view

Red lacquer utensils were produced in Japan as early as the Heian period (794–1185). During the subsequent Kamakura period (1185–1333), Buddhist monks at the Negoro-ji temple in present-day Wakayama Prefecture began producing furnishings covered in red lacquer layered over black lacquer. Wares made using lacquer in this manner later became known as Negoro wares.

This pair of sake casks could be suspended by cords from the two rings at the top and easily transported. Such casks were often used as congratulatory gifts. The earliest surviving examples date to the early sixteenth century.

Pair of Sake Caskets, Red and black lacquer (Negoro ware), Japan

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