The wooden body of this box has been covered in many layers of red lacquer and the design carved in relief. The technique has been used in China for centuries, while this particular shape derives from ceramic seal-paste containers. This box was purchased in Japan by a private collector, and thus is included here as an example of 'creative adaptation' ('mitate') by Japanese tea practitioners who would have used it as an incense box ('kogo') to contain the slithers of imported fragrant wood used to scent a room.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.210.
Place where the work was made
late 16th century
carved cinnabar lacquer with black lacquer interior
3.6 x 7.0 cm
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Sparse shadows, flying pearls: a Japanese screen revealed, Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane, 27 Aug 2005–27 Nov 2005
Referenced in 1 publication
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The World of Samurai Culture', Sydney, 2003, 210 (colour illus.).