This is a lovely Meiji period Japanese Satsuma kogo - or incense box - shaped to symbolize a chrysanthemum with 24 petals and decorated on the top with 8 Rakans - or holy men - and 2 attendants or pupils. The inside of the lid has 2 figures in a reserve and the inside of the bottom has 3 figures in a reserve. The bottom exterior of the box has a diaper with 12 different colored circles, each with a spiral - symbolizing the sacred pearl and 4 black enamel circles decorated with gold lacquer. The inside of the foot is marked with the Shimazu family crest and the calligraphy reads 'Satsuma Tsukuru', in gold on a black field. This piece measures 2 2/8" in diameter and approximately 13/16" high. The kogo shows age discoloration and has varying degrees of wear to the black and gold diaper on the joining rims on about 1/2 of the outside radius. There is light general handling wear and a very tiny flake on the interior rim and a very old, very small flake on the outer rim - both take close examination to find. There are no cracks or restorations. This is a lovely, well executed piece and it is unusual to find this motif on smaller pieces.
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