Cabinet with Design of Pine, Bamboo, and Cherry Blossom, Sprinkled gold on lacquer (maki-e), Japan

Cabinet with Design of Pine, Bamboo, and Cherry Blossom

Edo period (1615–1868)
19th century
Sprinkled gold on lacquer (maki-e)
H. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm); W. 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm); D. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Frederick C. Hewitt Fund, 1910
Accession Number:
Not on view
Well-born Japanese brides brought elaborate sets of household articles in gold- and silver-sprinkled lacquer to their new homes. Their trousseaux usually contained writing implements, tea utensils, toiletry articles, and equipment for such refined pursuits as incense games and the tea ceremony. Gold, which was carefully rationed by a sumptuary law specifying the permitted amount for various ranks, was lavishly expended on wedding sets. These ensembles were rarely used and, after being displayed at the wedding, were preserved in storerooms and handed down as heirlooms.

The lacquer objects on display bear the Maeda and Shimazu family crests, probably those of the influential daimyo lords of the Kaga clan in Kanazawa and the Satsuma clan in Kagoshima.
William Churchill Oastler , New York (until 1900; sale, American Art Association, 13 April 1900, no. 629, to Kaldenberg).; [ F. W. Kaldenberg and Sons , NY, 1910; sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Mighty Kano School: Orthodoxy and Iconoclasm," December 18, 2004–June 5, 2005.