Red lacquered seal box with embossed landscape and flowers (kodansu).

Red lacquered seal box with embossed landscape and flowers (kodansu).

Click here to view image

Back to Focus:
Technique and Dimensions:

: lacquered wood, polished red lacquer, relief decoration applied in bright and coloured paste (outside); bright and black lacquer, decoration with engraved lines saturated with gold (inside). 23,5 x 28,5 x 20,4 cm.


in storage (inv. no. L-59)


Edoardo Chiossone Collection, testamentary bequest, 1898.

Object Type:


On the little removable shutter there are two views with rocky islands, pavilions and plants. The first one in tsuikin on the outside, the second one on the inside with thin and engraved lines saturated with gold on bright black lacquer. The tsuikin technique has its roots on the Ryūkyū Islands of the 18th century. The exact meaning is “applied brocade” and it consisted of two types of relief applications: hard materials like mother of pearl, soapstone, bones, ivory or, in a cheaper version, made with the application of coloured lacquers.
On the lid there are a camellia branch and a small bird flying, on the sides there’s a plum plant, on the front of the drawers a serpentine pattern with little leaves and some embellished emblems of richness and prosperity. The vivid red colour creates a strong contrast with the colourful decoration which shows a strong exuberance, sign of a production of the second half of the 19th century, probably intended for the export to the West.