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Formal Stand
RMV 360-4032
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Fisscher ranged this formal stand or table in the MS-catalogue of his collection under the Section Antiquities and Curiosities, remarking that it was made of wood dating ‘from the earliest times of the pre-history, around the Japanese deluge’. Indeed, the leaf is made of fossilized wood, probably from around Sendai in the north of Honshū Island. The four legs are carved of wood and shaped in a style reminiscent of Chinese furniture. Then it was lacquered in the Tsugarunuri-technique, so called after Tsugaru, a district in the far north of Honshū. This technique consists in the application of three to four colours of lacquer, which are mingled so as to render a marbled effect after polishing. In this case, black and red are the predominant colours. Prof. Matthi Forrer, curator Japanese arts, Leiden.

History of the Object
Though difficult to date, it may be assumed that Fisscher acquired it as an antiquity at the time, bearing witness to his great discrimination in Japanese culture. Above all, it still contributes to our understanding of this culture.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Wood; lacquer 
Measurements
Width 26,0 cm. Height 13,7 cm. Length 34,5 cm.  
Creator name
Anonymous 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Japan 
Geography
Japan 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
18th Century - 19th Century 
Function
The stand served to display flower arrangements or incense burners in the tokonoma, the alcove in traditional Japanese houses. 
Acquisition
Ex Collection Royal Cabinet of Rarities, The Hague (1831-1883). Acquired by the museum in 1883. Collected by Johannes Frederik van Overmeer Fisscher between 1820 and 1826. This object was probably acquired at Edo during the 1822 court journey to that city in which Fisscher partook. Johan van Overmeer Fisscher (1800-1848) came to Japan as a servant employed in various capacities at Deshima, from 1820 to 1829. Much like Captain Blomhoff, also Fisscher made an extensive collection of objects with the explicit purpose of elucidating to the Dutch audience what Japanese culture entailed. His collection was smaller than Blomhoff’s, yet the overall quality and understanding of Japanese culture witnessed in the items is much better. Like the Blomhoff collection, it was moved to Leiden in 1883 when the Royal Cabinet of Curiosities was dissolved (see: “History of the Institution”). 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
State property, the Netherlands 
Museum
National Museum of Ethnology, Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde 
Credit line
National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, the Netherlands 

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