Rare Antique Tokugawa Japanese Lacquer Armorial Chest Circa Late 17th C to Early 18th Century. Black lacquer with very fine gold chinoiserie painted details. Chest has intricately engraved metal fittings. In excellent condition.
Trousseau chest with Tokugawa crest with lacquered and gilded wood with metal fittings.
These chests were used for mainly treasures from war or bridal trousseaus of the Tokugawa Shoguns. The Tokugawa Shoguns were the rulers of Japan for 264 years, until the power or the emperors was restored In 1868. Most of the chests in excellent condition are in museums.
The Edo period (1615 - 1868), a period of great significance in Japan's history. At the beginning of the seventeenth century.
The Edo period Japan was ruled by the Tokugawa family, with each successive head assuming the rank of Shogun.
"In the first decades of the 17th century, Japan’s Tokugawa shogunate encouraged foreign trade. The shogun had the monopoly on trade with non-Japanese, and made giant gobs of money from it between 1603 and 1635.
Around 1640, chief of the mission of the Dutch East India Company François Caron commissioned a group of gold lacquer boxes from the Kaomi Nagashige of Kyoto, a master craftsman who was the official lacquer-maker to the Tokugawa rulers. In 1639 he had created an exceptional bridal trousseau of 75 boxes for two-year-old Princess Chiyohime on the occasion of her engagement. The lacquer decoration featured scenes from The Tale of Genji, a romance written in the early 11th century by noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu which is often described as the first novel. The baby princess’ trousseau is a Japanese national treasure today, part of the permanent collection of theTokugawa Art Museum in Nagoya.
Caron was able to secure the finest quality of lacquer, the kind of thing that would normally be seen in the palaces of the Shogun. The chests were decorated with gold, silver and copper foil, sheets and powder and mother of pearl. The painstaking process of creating these marvels took at least two years."
Provenance: Del Saxon Galleries, and the Marcus family estate (Neiman Marcus family) in Dallas.
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