Pair of Vases

Location: Japan

Materials: carved red lacquer, panels of kinji lacquer with encrustations of shell, ivory, carved red lacquer, and other materials, black lacquer bands inlaid with gold foil

Dimensions: height 23.5 cm

Accession Number: L 121

Other Notes:

A pair of squared gourd-shaped vases, with lacquer panels inset into a carved red lacquer body. Each vase consists of four panels with a variety of designs: festive dancers, one with children looking on; a bird on a plum-branch; birds on a tree-peony; plum-trees and irises; a branch of cherry-blossom and a spray of camellia; and an open book with a pot of writing-brushes. The decoration in the form of Shibayama-style encrustations on a fundame ground. The area immediately surrounding the panels decorated with stylized chrysanthemum scrolls, while the upper part of the body depicts birds among flowers and trees by a river which continues around the facets, in depply carved red lacquer. The two main sections of the body separated by a geometric band of black lacquer inlaid with gold foil. The rim of silver with a geometric pattern of gold inlay, the base of okibirame, and the interior and underside finished in nashiji.


O. Impey, M. Fairley, J. Earle (eds.), Meiji No Takara: Treasures Of Imperial Japan: Lacquer Vol II, London 1995, cat. 158.
J. Earle, Splendors of Imperial Japan: Arts of the Meiji period from the Khalili Collection, London 2002, cat. 148, p. 224.