wood, gold & silver maki-e and inlay on lacquer ground
Gift of Helen W. Merrill (Mrs. Earle A., Class of 1889)
This Japanese writing case comprises a brush compartment, a stone for grinding and mixing ink, and a small pot for water. During the Edo Period (1603–1867), most literate persons in Japan owned a writing case, though the quality of the craftsmanship would vary according to the socioeconomic standing of the owner. Ogata Korin, one of the most prominent artists of his day, designed the box. The fabrication would have been left to lacquer craftsmen who were highly skilled in the time-consuming application of numerous coats of thinly applied tree sap. The “sprinkled design,” or maki-e, seen in between the folds of the stream, is made by embedding flakes of gold and silver leaf into a still-wet layer of lacquer.
See attached pdf article (under surrogate list) "From the Suntory Museum of Art-Autumn Grasses and Water-Motifs in Japanese Art". A good reference for writing box
exterior, top, detail
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