VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Writing box/Suzuribako
MPE 4416
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This fine suzuribako has an overhanging lid and slightly faceted corners. It is in gold nashiji ground entirely decorated with maki-e Tokugawa’s aoi mon in opaque and brilliant gold. It is a striking example of Japanese lacquer art of Edo period: its sober and precious elegance reflects the owner's high rank.

History of the Object
The art of shodo originated in China and became known in Japan in the sixth or seventh century, along with methods of making brushes, ink, and paper. In those days, calligraphy was an essential part of the educational curricula of members of the ruling noble families. During the Shogunate times the samurai studied both ken-do and sho-do. This traditional training was called bun-bu-ryo-do: the sword and brush way.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Wood, lacquer, metal, ink stone 
Measurements
Width 21.5 cm. Height 5.5 cm. Length 23.7 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 17th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
17th Century - 19th Century; 1603 - 1868 (Early Edo period) 
Function
Shodo set 
Acquisition
Probably from Museo Kircheriano 
Copyright
©Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Acknowledgements
Text: Francesco de Feo, Loretta Paderni Photo: Giorgio Bronchi, Fabio Naccari ©Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma 
Owner
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Roma State property, Italy 
Museum
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico  
Credit line
 

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