dark brown box with design of reddish orange and gold leaves; red beans; rectangular-shaped; pair of metal ornaments with a ring on long sides of box

Box with sword beans, 17th century

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Under Chinese influence, Japanese artisans in the eighth century produced colored lacquerware by tinting the lacquer sap with mineral and vegetable pigments. As they became adept at applying gold and silver powders, however, colored lacquer fell from favor. Craftsmen in the early 17th century resurrected the technique and it became popular among warriors and well-to-do townspeople alike. Used to decorate objects intended for everyday use, colored lacquers were admired for their unpretentious charm, in contrast to laboriously produced and obviously expensive gold and silver examples. This storage box features a casually rendered string bean plant supported by bamboo stakes and straw rope--a common sight in neighborhood gardens.

Exhibitions
Details
Title
Box with sword beans
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.79.419a,b
Catalogue Raisonne
Murase, Art through a Lifetime, no. 798
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our 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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dark brown box with design of reddish orange and gold leaves; red beans; rectangular-shaped; pair of metal ornaments with a ring on long sides of box