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Walter C. Eells Collection

Maxey Catalog Number



Constructed as a rectangular box with a hinged door opening to the front to reveal three interior drawers, one with fitted tray, the exterior surfaces decorated with bushing chrysanthemums executed in various tones of gold hiramaki-e (raised sprinkled metal and/or pigment) against a kinji (metallic lacquer) ground, the interior displaying hiramaki-e motifs of prunus (a type of tree) and bamboo against a kinji ground to the door fronts and tray, the remaining interior surfaces covered in a simple nashiji (metallic flecked lacquer) ground, mounted with silver hinges, lackplate, drawer pulls and handle. Card in drawer states: "SATIN FINISH, GOLD LACQUER JEWEL BOX This is perhaps the gem of the collection artistically and historically. The figures are the royal chrysanthemum. It was presented to a lady at the Japanese royal court in commemoration of the birth of the younger brother of the present emperor, now commonly known as Prince Mikasa. The cards contain two translation of the inscription on the enclosing box --one made by my interpreter Frank Kawamoto, the other by a Japanese specialist at the Library of Congress. W.C. Eells" Note: wooden enclosing box and translations are missing. Accession File States: "Small chest with hinged door; 3 drawers. Gold lacquer, exterior decorated with chrysanthemum motif; interior nashiji, front of drawers shows flowering plum, metal handle on tip, metal drawer pulls and locks." 19th century.


Physical object

Cultural Affiliation


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Dr. Walter Crosby Eells


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