Treasure Ship, 1859

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According to Japanese folklore, sleeping with a picture of a treasure ship laid under one's pillow on the night of January 1st. brings auspicious dreams, and thus portends good luck throughout the coming year. Consequently, images of treasure ships were produced in great number in pre-modern Japan. This print shows a ship with full, swelling sails and loaded with treasure. People would imagine the round containers, depicted here on the ship's deck, as being filled with gold coins, rice, or jewelry. Expensive gold pigment used to depict the outlines of the containers heightens the sumptuous mood.

Treasure Ship
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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