Important Cultural PropertyWriting box with motif of ox-drawn coach in mother-of-pearl inlay

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  • 1 piece
  • Lacquered wood
  • L22.5 W21.0 H4.4
  • Edo period/17th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • H-4231

An ox-drawn coach, a religious hall (shaden) and other motifs with the flowing water pattern are pictured on both sides of the lid and the inside of the box. Fully-bloomed chrysanthemum flowers are scattered in the background. The design strongly reflects the tastes of the court art of the time.
One major characteristic of this writing box is the exceptionally high level of the makie-techniques employed. The makie is crafted based around slightly-raised gold makie, with a variety of other techniques, including kakiwari (lines are left plain, while the base around them are lacquered and sprinkled with metal powder), tsukegaki (line-drawing with lacquer with gold and silver powder sprinkled on it) and kirikane (cut metal shapes). The beauty of this piece comes from these two factors described above – the design and the techniques – both of which faithfully follow the traditional style of makie.