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Lidded Cloisonné Box with Bird Motif

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Japan Anonymous, Japanese
Lidded Cloisonné Box with Bird Motif, 1886 - early 20th c.
Enamel on Brass
2 3/16 in. x 3 5/8 in. x 3 in. (5.56 cm x 9.21 cm x 7.62 cm)


Object Type: Cloisonné
Technique: Cloisonné
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Dorothy Adler Routh
Accession Number: 73.3.40


Commentary
This piece was created by the Inaba Cloisonné Company in the early Meiji era. Its lid features a scene of two white egrets within a stream, framed by the presence of wisteria, peonies, and irises. The remaining sides of the box are home to illustrations of flowering cherry blossoms and circular patterns placed against dark blue enamel. The interior of the box is lined with plain brass, and features an engraved design of birds on its lid. Its boxed shape is a truly unique feature, as most cloisonné pieces found within this collection are vases.
Greta Long (student, 2016)

Marks
Two stickers on the base: "7-32" and "PKU/v2/14-66." The accession number label is glued on the base. Gilt wires form the mark of the Inaba Company on the base.

Medium
Multicolored enamel on brass.

Object Description
Lidded Japanese cloisonné box on six feet. The hinged lid shows a naturalistic scene of two white egrets in a stream, surrounded by flowering wisteria, peonies, and irises. The sides of the box are decorated with flowering cherry branches against a dark blue ground covered in spiraling gilt wires. All the enamel panels are bordered with circular geometric motifs. The base is enameled in light green-blue with a border of scrolling gilt wires and the mark of the Inaba Cloisonné Company in gilt wires set in the center. The interior is unenamelled brass, with an engraved design of birds on the lid and bamboo within the box.

The Inaba Company of Kyoto was founded in 1886 by Inaba Isshin during the “Golden Age” of Japanese cloisonné.

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