Long suzuribako (calligraphy box) with nashiji lacquer background, plum tree decoration in a lake landscape in takamaki-e, kôrin maki-e and kirigane. The plum tree (ume), which blooms at the beginning of the year, announces spring. Its flower is a symbol of protection against demons. On the inner lid, decoration with seven flying birds near a coast with clouds. Pewter inlay on the nodes of the trees in the style of Ogata Kôrin.
The kôrin maki-e is a technique developed by Ogata Kôrin (1658-1716) and perpetuated by his followers. It presents bold and innovative designs by inlaying lead, pewter, blue shells and other materials into lacquerware.
Ogata Kôrin is a very famous artist from Edo (nom Tokyo) belonging to the Rimpa school, known for his paintings and maki-e patterns. Hi is the son of Ogata Soken, a prosperous textile merchant, who served the intermediate palace of the emperor Go-Mizunoo (1611-1680) and Tofukumon-in (1607-1678, daughter of Tokugawa Hidetada). After the death of his father, he squandered all his inheritance. In order to earn his living, hi perfected his painted skills, which he had been taught by his great-grandfather and artist Ogata Michikashiwa. He also learned traditional arts such as tea ceremony, calligraphy and textile design. With a style that combines abstract and energetic design with careful observation of nature and a talent for pattern and composition, his work is recognized throughout Japan. He used pewter and lead to create various textures, adding a touch of roughness. This characteristic is taken over by his school, giving the name technique kôrin maki-e.
Carrying case included with the inscription 梨子地光琳蒔作硯一 : Nashiji kôrin maki(e) saku suzuri(bako) ichi : Suzuribako made in nashiji and kôrin maki-e 1.
Japan, Ogata Kôrin school – Edo period (1612-1868), 18th century or early 19th century
Height : 0.8 in. (2.3 cm) – Length : 6.9 in. (17.5 cm) – width : 2.5 in. (6.5 cm)