Incense game box and pieces - ROM2005_3274_1


Incense game box and pieces

Medium:Gold lacquered wood, with hiramaki-e decoration
Geography: Japan
Date: 18th century AD
Period: Edo period
14.8 x 22.5 x 18.2 cm
Object number: 920.26.15.A-AG
Not on view
DescriptionRichly decorated lacquer objects figured prominently among the objects used in daily life by the elite. The principal method for decorating Japanese lacquer involves dusting the still-damp finish with powdered gold or silver. Practised from the eighth century on, maki-e (literally "sprinkled-picture") was refined to create several effects such as hira-maki-e (flat design), taka-maki-e (high relief design), and nashiji (pear-skin). Maki-e lacquer designs usually feature motifs from nature and scenic landscape, and often reflect the Japanese tradition of literary allusions. Maki-e decoration was applied to all kinds of objects used by the aristocracy and military elite: furniture, religious paraphernalia, tableware, and military gear. Europeans visiting Japan began collecting lacquered objects avidly as early as the mid-16th century, stimulating a robust export trade that endured into the early 20th century
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