Cabinet for Incense, Nest of Boxes, Tray, Tortoiseshell on wood with sprinkled gold lacquer, Japan

Cabinet for Incense, Nest of Boxes, Tray

Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
19th century
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Tortoiseshell on wood with sprinkled gold lacquer
Dimensions:
H. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm); W. 3 in. (7.6 cm); L. 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm)
Classification:
Lacquer
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
29.100.725
Not on view
This personal cabinet for the pastime of comparing fragrances is decorated with motifs that evoke seasonal fragrances. On the nested boxes, the plum blossom evokes the delicate scent that gladdens winter and augurs spring. On the tray, summer pinks and mallow recall sharper fragrances, and the heady perfume of ripening grapes attracts a dragonfly on the outer cabinet, signaling the coming of autumn.
Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer , New York (until d. 1929; bequeathed to MMA).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," 1998.