Namban style chest with a semi-cylindrical lid made of black lacquered wood (urushi) with gold lacquer (maki-e) and inlaid with mother-of-pearl (raden).
Decorated with three main bands of floral motifs, middle surrounded by vertical bands of mother-of-pearl inlaid lozenges and framed by the hanashippô pattern (overlapping circles forming petals).
On the lied, acer (momiji) and plum tree flowers (ume). On the front side, branches of citrus tree tachibana(Citrus tachibana), vine leaves and peonies (botan). On the right side, bellflowers (kikuyo) and pederas (hagi). Water plantains or Sagittaria (omodaka) on the back side and morning-glories (asagao) on the left side.
Gilded copper fittings chiseled with chrysanthemums, at the bottom what appears to be the head of a dog to either side.
Interior in black lacquer.
Namban art of the 16th and 17th centuries was influenced by contacts and exchanges with the West and in particular the Portuguese who arrived in Japan from the middle of the 16th century. They are called namban-jin, meaning “southern barbarians”. Traders or missionaries went to Japan bringing with them a culture totally different to Japan. Namban lacquerware is characterized by gold maki-e lacquer and inlaid mother-of-pearl (raden) decoration.
Japan – Azuchi Momoyama period (1573-1603)
Height: 6.3 in. (16 cm) – Length: 10.2 in. (23 cm) – Depth: 5.1 in. (13.5 cm)