Incense Box (Kōgō) with Camellias


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 228

Small boxes of this type, made in China and brought to Japan in some number, are often identified as incense boxes, as they were used to hold scented wood for tea gatherings. It is likely that these boxes played a similar role in China, safekeeping incense or other powdered substances such as cosmetics. The camellia spray on the cover is set against a plain background, a characteristic design of early carved lacquers that would reemerge in the sixteenth century.

On view for rotations 1 and 2

Incense Box (Kōgō) with Camellias, Carved red lacquer, China

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