VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Lacquered Box for a Dutch Merchant
MNEMG 122.1979.476
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This is a masterpiece as it shows the fusion of east and west. It is rare as an object as it details the owner. The box shows through its decoration how Japanese craftsmen adopted imagery from Europe to decorate commissioned works. The rectangular metal box with slanted corner is hinged on the long side. With black lacquer ground it depicts Neptune in a chariot among waves looking up at Venus (Juno) in dove-drawn chariot in clouds. Decorated with cherry blossoms on the sides and white and blue shell, gold, black and red hiramakie with gold and silver inlay.

History of the Object
The box was made for a Dutch merchant working in Japan in 1822. The outside of the box is decorated with Neptune, Venus and cherry blossoms. Internally there is an inscription detailing who it was made for and the date. The box used to be in the Behrens Collection. (Reference no. 1065 cat no 198, illus pl XI)

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
lacquer, metal 
Measurements
13.6cm x 8.2cm x 2.2cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century; 1822 
Function
Box 
Acquisition
Gift of the Hon. Walter Samuel via the National Art Collections Fund in 1923. 
Copyright
Images of this object are the copyright of Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery 
Museum
Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery 
Credit line
Lacquer box made for a Dutch Merchant © Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery 

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