Lacquer document box


British Museum

British Museum

The interlocking design of black crows and white egrets is very unusual, and has no real precedent in Japanese art. However, it does have something in common with the painting of the Rimpa school, and can be placed in the tradition of depicting flocks of birds on Japanese screens, common from the seventeenth century onwards.The crows' eyes, inlaid with gold lacquer and mother-of pearl, and the conspicuous pinkish bills of the egrets both help us to pick out the birds from the puzzling design.

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  • Title: Lacquer document box
  • Date Created: 1800/1899
  • Physical Dimensions: Width: 30.50cm; Length: 24.30cm; Height: 6.20cm (with lid)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: lacquered; inlaid
  • Subject: bird
  • Registration number: 1946,1012.1.a-c
  • Production place: Made in Japan
  • Period/culture: Edo Period
  • Material: wood; mother-of-pearl; lacquer; eggshell; gold
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Landon, Bernhard