Asian Art
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Trousseau Box

mid- to late 17th century

Black lacquer ground on wood with decoration in gold and colored Kodaiji maki-e, nashiji, gilt metal ring-fittings, and pewter rims

21.5 x 33.5 x 26.4 cm (8 7/16 x 13 3/16 x 10 3/8 in.), exterior case: 29.6 x 32.3 x 37.3 cm (11 5/8 x 12 11/16 x 14 11/16 in.)
Gift of Peggy and Richard M. Danziger, LL.B. 1963
2001.80.1
In the seventeenth century, Japanese lacquer work (maki-e, literally meaning “sprinkled picture”), lavishly decorated with gold and silver particles and inlaid with lustrous shells, became world renowned. This luxurious trousseau box is in the Kodaiji style, which is noted for its spontaneous design. Such wares were made in large quantities in a workshop setting to quickly meet the high demand. The symbols of longevity on the lid—pine, turtles, and cranes—imply that perhaps the box was made for a marriage or an anniversary. The four sides have floral designs of pine and camellia, wisteria, peony, and snow-covered bamboo. The sides of the box have two contrasting fields of black lacquer and “pear-skin” lacquer (nashiji), divided by a diagonal, gold, zigzagging line. In comparison with early Kodaiji lacquer ware of the Momoyama period, the design and technical mastery of this box show a greater complexity.
Culture: 
Japanese
Period: 
Edo period (1615–1868)
Classification: 
Containers - Wood
Status: 
Not on view
Bibliography: 

Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 150–51 (detail), 153, 378, pl. 139.

Sadako Ohki, “Japanese Art at Yale,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2007): 41.

Ive Aaslid Covaci, “Japanese Lacquer in the Yale University Art Gallery Collection: ‘Nobleman’s Meal Table and Kodaiji Maki-e’,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2007): 133–37, fig. 2, 3.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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