Leather chest with leather applied decoration
China, ca. 1850
Of pigskin over light wood, lacquered cinnabar red with gold-lacquered applied leather decorations, this is the sort of chest that the Japanese literati, in their worship of all things Chinese, brought to Japan to hold writing and painting materials or similar equipment for their various intellectual pursuits.  This example is a small one, and has the original finish:  therefore it's darkened in places, a bit rubbed or worn off in others, and the leather has split near the lower left corner of the front, visible in picture to right of butterfly and about as long as it.  The metal lock plate is brass, in the shape of a hishi or lozenge; the applied leather decorations include the classic double happiness characters - one on each side of the lock place on the lid here - as well as butterflies and other auspicious symbols.
height 6", length 12 3/8", depth 6 1/8"
$425, postpaid and insured.

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