Trousseau Box Artist: Unknown, Japanese

mid to late 17th century

Asian Art

Not on view

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.


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


8 7/16 × 13 3/16 × 10 3/8 in. (21.5 × 33.5 × 26.4 cm)
exterior case: 11 5/8 × 12 11/16 × 14 11/16 in. (29.6 × 32.3 × 37.3 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Peggy and Richard M. Danziger, LL.B. 1963

Accession Number



Edo period (1615–1868)


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 records is ongoing.



John McGee, Kyoto, 1981; Collection of Peggy and Richard M. Danziger, to 2001; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • 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
  • Sadako Ohki, "Japanese Art at Yale," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2007), 41
  • 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
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

boxes (containers), trousseaux


Box lid obverse inscribed "Jidai [antique-silver lacquer] maki-e [gold lacquer] \ On [gold lacquer] te [silver lacquer] bako [gold lacquer]."\r\n高台寺蒔絵手箱 黒漆しろめ縁蒔絵 江戸時代

Technical metadata and APIs


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