square box with rounded corners; black lacquer with gold flecks; stylized peacock with outstretched wings and erect tail on cover; peacock feather designs in gold inside

Incense box with peacock, 16th century

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The background of this box is known as “pear-skin ground” (nashiji), because the loose sprinkling of gold dust over the surface resembles the skin of an Asian pear (nashi). The body of the peacock was also created by applying gold dust to the lacquered surface of the box, a technique called maki-e (sprinkled pictures), while the bird’s tail feathers are adorned with tiny pieces of iridescent mother-of-pearl embedded into the surface. The delicacy of this box’s design is characteristic of lacquerware created in Japan in the 1500s.

Details
Title
Incense box with peacock
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.79.380a,b
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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square box with rounded corners; black lacquer with gold flecks; stylized peacock with outstretched wings and erect tail on cover; peacock feather designs in gold inside