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Exhibitions/ Art Object

江戸時代 蟹波蒔絵箱
Box with Crabs and Waves

Edo period (1615–1868)
17th century
Lacquered wood with gold hiramaki-e and e-nashiji on black lacquer ground
H. 6 3/4 in. (17.1 cm); W .6 in. (15.2 cm); L.12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
Accession Number:
Not on view
The somewhat unusual shape of this box suggests that it might have been used to hold implements for painting, such as ink stones, brushes, and pigments. Variations in texture on the crab shells and in the rendering of the dramatic waves are a result of the different sizes and densities of the sprinkled gold, and of the various methods used to apply the gold powder. This box, with its bold and decorative design, could have been used by a well-to-do individual living in a cultural center such as Edo (present-day Tokyo)or Kyoto.
Florence and Herbert Irving , New York (until 2015; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "East Asian Lacquer from the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection," November 22, 1991–February 23, 1992.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Art Nouveau: Sources and Cities, 1890-1914," October 8, 2000–January 28, 2001.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art," May 26, 2012–January 13, 2013.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sumptuous: East Asian Lacquer, 14th–20th Century," October 25, 2014–August 9, 2015.

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