Gazette Drouot logo print
Lot n° 32


result :
Not available
Estimate :
Subscribers only

A LACQUER SUZURIBAKO DEPICTING SCENES FROM THE TALES OF GENJI Japan, 19th century Of rounded rectangular form, with a slightly domed overhanging cover. The exterior with a reddish-brown and kinji ground decorated in gold takamaki-e and hiramaki-e, as well as kirigane flakes, to depict shells from the game of Kai-awase (shell-matching game) decorated to the interior with scenes from the Tale of Genji, a classic work of Japanese literature from the beginning of the eleventh century written by Murasaki Shikibu. The interior of the cover similarly decorated with the pavilion of Genji. Housed within the integrated baseboard interior is a metal butterfly water dropper (suiteki) and a rectangular inkstone (suzuri). SIZE 3.9 x 21.7 x 18.3 cm Condition: Excellent condition with minor wear. The metal water dropper with signs of wear. With a wooden tomobako storage box. Kai-awase, the game of ‘matching shells’, is included among a number of aristocratic pastimes that were popular in the eleventh and twelfth–century Japanese court. From the start, shell matching was most popular among women and girls. The shells used were clams, ideally from Ise Bay in central Japan, of a size to fit nicely in a girl’s hand. They were cleaned and polished, the interiors then covered in paper and gold leaf and decorated with scenes from nature, or often from The Tale of Genji. The same picture was painted on both halves of the shell on the inside. The outsides of the shells were polished but undecorated.