Japanese / Stationery Box / Momoyama period (1568-1615), early 17th centuryJapanese
Stationery Box
Momoyama period (1568-1615), early 17th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Name-CRT: Japanese
Title: Stationery Box
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1600
Creation End Date: 1615
Creation Date: Momoyama period (1568-1615), early 17th century
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Woodwork
Materials and Techniques: Lacquer, with sprinkled gold decoration in Kodai-ji style, inlaid with gold and silver foil
Dimensions: 56.H. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm), W. 17 15/16 in. (45.6 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1987.82ab
Credit Line: Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1987
Rights: http://www.metmuseum.org/

The bold designs and gorgeous floral decoration in sprinkled gold on the gold and black lacquerwork of this large box for writing paper are characteristic of lacquer ware associated with Kodai-ji. This temple, built in 1606 in memory of the great shogun Hideyoshi (1539-1598) by his widow, is the epitome of the lavish taste of the Momoyama age. Despite several fires, the temple preserves a corpus of some thirty lacquer objects, which include architectural elements and utensils used in the fabled castles of the ostentatious Hideyoshi. Distinctive features of the Kodai-ji style, in vogue from about 1568 until well into the early seventeenth century, are its naturalistic rendering of plant motifs, usually autumn grasses, in large forms on a ground frequently divided into alternating diagonal fields of black and sprinkled gold. The wisteria-laden pine and the bridge bordered by spring willows have classic literary associations appropriate to boxes of this type. Bridges-this one recalling the famous structure at Uji-were particularly favored as an artistic motif during the early seventeenth century. Technically, the making of Kodai-ji lacquer ware was not as complicated as were earlier and later works of the Koami school artisans, who simplified their traditional methods to produce the bold decorative effects and large quantities demanded by lavish Momoyama patrons. The sumptuous technique employed here, which includes the inlay of gold and silver sheets, suggests a date late in the Momoyama period.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1987.82ab
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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