Japanese Gold Lacquer Boxes

15 November 2016 - 24 February 2017
Erik Thomsen Gallery is proud to announce its next exhibition of Japanese gold-lacquer boxes, opening on Tuesday, November 15 and including over 30 works from the 17th century to the present day. The display will focus on items suited to the cultural needs and pastimes of traditional Japan's courtly and military elites: suzuribako (boxes for writing utensils), natsume (caddies for powdered matcha green tea), kōbako (miniature containers for tiny silvers of imported incense wood), and tebako ("hand boxes", for ladies' accessories), all of them with meticulous decoration in the full range of gold and silver maki-e ("sprinkled-picture") techniques unique to Japan.  
Adorned with designs drawn from ancient poetry and the natural world, these masterpieces of Japanese craftmanship offer a privileged window into a refined artistic tradition that has continued to thrive to the present day.  Many of the works are signed or accompanied by a wooden tomobako storage box bearing a title or description along with the artist's name.