Coffer in Nanban (Southern Barbarian) Style


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This coffer belongs to a category of Japanese goods known as namban (literally, southern barbarians) that were produced in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century for trade with Portugal and other European countries. The shape derives from European chests, while the decoration illustrates an awareness of Indian designs transmitted via such trade goods as lacquers and textiles.

Coffer in Nanban (Southern Barbarian) Style, Gold maki-e and mother-of-pearl inlay on black lacquer; gilt-bronze fittings, Japan

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