Breathtaking Gold Makie Lacquer Box with Key~ Red Headed Cranes ~ Japan 1891+

This finely detailed work of art is hand tooled depicting sacred red headed cranes wading in water and two in flight approaching for landing. Silver waves await the approaching birds. The cranes have a thick coat of gold makie giving them a three dimensional look and feel. The top and sides of the outside of the box is completely covered with gold and the inside and bottom is a nice shiny black. The makie is a crafting technique from old days in Japan several hundred years ago. Use of urushi lacquer as an adhesive and sprinkling of pure gold powders, pure gold leaves, silver powders complete designs as a picture on various adornment, therefore, called makie(sprinkled-picture).The makie was refined over time and became the gorgeous art, craft peculiar to Japan. This little gem of a box has the key still with it, which if very rare to find. It will lock and open but it is very difficult to get it unlocked once it is locked. So I would advise to leave it unlocked. It is marked Made in Japan on the upper lid. It has a few areas where the gold has been chipped off around the edges. Please see pictures for condition.

Excerpts from Japanese Fairy tale "The gift of gold Lacquer" :

"Lord Buddha will ever incline the children of Japan to treat gently the snowy heron and the silk-white cranes forever; but do you and your successors, on the panel, the tray, the screen, and the writing box. Make the crane and heron comrades of the gold-lacquered mountains [166] and trees, the landscape and the rice-fields. Let them preen their feathers, or soar in the air, or bask in the red disk of the morning sun, or amid the curling spray of the ocean disport themselves in joy. Thus let all the world, for a whole banzai, or a thousand generations, be grateful for the gift of the lacquer tree."

Measures: 9 5/8" L x 6 1/2" W x 1 1/4" H

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Item ID: BOX44


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