Incense Box (Kodansu)

 

Small rectangular box in nashi-ji lacquer. One of the sides is opening on three drawers. It is decorated outside in hira and takamaki-e, aogai inlay, butterflies flying on flowers and wild herbs. The drawers and the inside of the door are decorated with pines under the moon. It is enhanced with a small handle and whittled metal hinges.

This box is used during the incense ceremony from the Edo period. It was made to contain a mix of perfumed woods or incense. This type of boxes are also part of Marie-Antoinette Collection.

The Japanese pine releases its fragrance on contact with cold air. Resistant to wind, it is a symbol of endurance and longevity. It is a symbol very often used in Japan: it is used in the New Year (Kadomatsu) to decorate the entrance doors (omen of prosperity). In the Shinto belief, Kami (Shinto gods and goddesses) descend from the sky on pine branches. It is also used to demarcate temples and repel negative energies and evil spirits.

Japan – Edo ( 1615 – 1868 )

Size : 2.5 x 3.5 x 2.2 inch

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