Gold lacquer with hiramaki-e and mother-of-pearl inlay; gilt copper fittings
H. 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm); W. 13 3/16 in. (33.5 cm); L. 19 7/16 in. (49.4 cm)
Purchase, Barbara and William Karatz Gift, 2008
Not on view
This spectacular chest belongs to a category of goods known as nanban (literally southern barbarians), produced for trade with Portugal and other European countries in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. While the shape of the chest derives from European traditions, the geometric patterns on the top and sides were most likely influenced by the Indian textiles that were widely traded at the time. On the other hand, the delicate floral scroll on the front is an East Asian motif, imported into Japan from China around the eighth century.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Animals, Birds, Insects, and Marine Life in Japanese Art," June 26, 2008–November 30, 2008.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars," June 18, 2009–November 30, 2009.
McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. "Spiritual Beliefs and Earthly Goods: Jesuits and the Exchange between Portugal and Japan in the Age of Exploration," February 16, 2013–June 2, 2013.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection," February 1, 2014–September 7, 2014.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sumptuous: East Asian Lacquer, 14th–20th Century," October 25, 2014–August 9, 2015.