Kodansu, Small Lacquerware Cabinet for Incense, Original Japanese Antique


Title: A Small Lacquer Kodansu (cabinet)
Date: late 19th century
Size: (H)12.5 cm (W) 11 cm (D) 16.8 cm

Original Japanese antique.

Rectangular with a hinged door opening to reveal three drawers, decorated on the exterior with landscape motifs in takamaki-e and hiramaki-e and overall dense nashiji surface. The lock, lock-plate, hinges, drawer-pulls, and handle are silver. Mount Fuji scenery decorates the side and back panels, with houses and pine trees lining rivers. The top panel shows travellers in a boat, the waves rendered in very thin and delicate gold strokes, evoking the calm movement of the water and adding to the serenity of the composition. The base and internal surfaces of the cabinet are in black lacquer, while the front of the drawers and back of the door are worked in nashiji.

Small cabinets like this were originally used for the incense ceremony to store the elements used for a game of identification of different blends of incense.

More Information
Dimensions(H)12.5 cm (W) 11 cm (D) 16.8 cm
Condition ReportDarkened and aged exterior with chipped lacquer revealing the wood on the edges and bottom. Chipped lacquer and wood on the inside drawers.
Product DateMeiji era (1868-1912), late 19th century