The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures

Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.

Nanban Lacquer Obon Momoyama - Early Edo period


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Lacquer: Pre 1700: Item # 1489585
The Kura
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23 Murasakino Monzen-cho
Kita-ward Kyoto 603-8216
tel.81-75-201-3497
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A classic Nanban style Japanese lacquer tray decorated with mother of pearl inlay featuring four panels of birds among floral patterns separated by bands and frets dating from the 17th century later Momoyama to early Edo era. It is 43 × 28.5 x 2cm (17 x 11 x 1 inches). It has been fully restored, with repairs to the original lacquer and inlay, and the underside has been re-lacquered. It comes in a custom fitted Chinese style cloth bound box lined with red silk.
According to the Met: The Portuguese and Spanish who visited Japan during the Momoyama period were fascinated by the beauty and exotic appearance of luxurious gold-decorated lacquerwares associated with the taste of warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537–1598). As a result, lacquers commissioned for the European market typically adopted this flamboyant style (Kōdaiji maki-e). Such pieces—among the earliest trade goods exported from Japan—are known collectively as “Nanban,” or “Southern Barbarian,” the Japanese appellation for foreigners who arrived “from the south.” Highly prized by the great families of Europe as luxurious exotica, they helped to define a “Japan aesthetic” for the Continent for more than three centuries. The decorative patterns depict Japanese subjects, among others, including maple, mandarin orange, and cherry trees, camellia flowers, wisteria branches, and birds. The decorative bands of the borders are embellished with geometric designs. One of the characteristic features of the Nanban lacquers is the rich application of mother-of-pearl inlays.