Interesting and unusual in shape, two contiguous cylinders of different diameters, the lacquer decoration with marbled shades is rare. Inlays, all around the edge of the box, of branches of vines whose flowers are in polished mother-of-pearl and hard stones in different shades of iridescence. The cover features two mother-of-pearl horses on top, and inside a snail and a flying ant.
Origin: Japan. Epqoue: Meiji.
Provenance: collection of Robert Rosset (1901-1981).
The marbled lacquer decoration is particularly difficult to achieve because by rubbing superimposed layers of different colors of lacquer. This technique remained unknown in the West until the Meiji period. It is a specialty of the wakasa region (north of Kyoto) near Lake Biwa. This decoration is found on an inro from the collection of the Marquis de Thuisy (see the book Japanese gold).