Namban Chest with a Drawer

Rare Nanban chest with rounded sides and a curved lid. It presents a drawer.
This small chest is decorated with urushi lacquer and inlayed mother of pearl.
The drawer on the lower half presents a keyhole and a lock.
The front, lid and back are divided by two gold and mother-of-pearl lines which create three decorative areas of equal dimensions.
The sides are separated in half by a single line of mother-of-pearl.
The decoration is composed of four different floral motifs:

  • The orange tree in the frontal central area and lid
  • Bell plants on the lateral sections, towards the frontal part of the lid and in the sections on the side
  • The Japanese clover is present on the back as well as the left and right sections
  • Japanese bean plants on the three sections of the backBirds in mid-flight are depicted on the side panels of the lid.
    All of the outer decorative areas are surrounded by a border comprised of squares of mother of pearl, placed diagonally and surrounded by triangles and a stylistic floral decoration.

The inner frontal part is for its part made up of small squares of mother of pearl, interspaced by vertical gold lines.
The keyhole is square and recut. It contains a lock.
This chest has a handle in the center of the lid which rests on buttons decorated with engraved chrysanthemums.
The hinges and peak heads are also engraved with chrysanthemums.
The interior is coated in black lacquer.
Materials: Japanese cypress, mother-of-pearl, gilt and engraved copper.
Japan, 17th century
Dimensions: Height: 7” – Length: 10” – Depth: 5 ½ “