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Query builder

Round box with lid

Accession Number
1955/1.165

Title
Round box with lid

Artist(s)
Japanese

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
Early 19th century

Medium & Support
lacquered wood

Dimensions
2 1/8 in x 5 1/8 in (5.4 cm x 13.02 cm)

Credit Line
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker

Label copy
Among the upper-class samurai of Edo-period (1615–1867) Japan, marriages were negotiated between families to suit political or economic ends. Families invested considerable resources in the education and material comfort of their daughters, and lavish bridal trousseaus, once a luxury reserved for daughters of court aristocrats or the most powerful warlords, became a social necessity for any high-ranking samurai family. 
​A standard trousseau included a custom-made set of over forty items made of lacquered wood and adorned with the family crests of the bride and groom. The love for seasonal motifs is seen in a lively floral scroll, centered on a crest of stylized paulownia blossoms that meanders across every object in the trousseau. Two additional family crests are scattered among the scrolls, one a chrysanthemum and the other an abstract geometric design based on the character for a water well. 
The lacquer box that served as the mirror stand usually houses a group of smaller cases that formed a women’s toilet set. The smaller cases hold combs, powders, brushes, and other grooming objects. The set was a necessary part of a bride’s dowry and would have been carried with a bamboo pole from her home to that of her future husband.

Subject matter
A standard trousseau included a custom-made set of over forty items made of lacquered wood and adorned with the family crests of the bride and groom. The love for seasonal motifs is seen in a lively floral scroll, centered on a crest of stylized paulownia blossoms that meanders across every object in the ​trousseau. Two additional family crests are scattered among the scrolls, one a chrysanthemum and the other an abstract geometric design based on the character for a water well.

Physical Description
A short, round container lacquered with gold floral patterns wrapping around the entire container. A small crysanthemum crest and geometric crests, also in gold, appear on the rounded top of the container. Part of a bridal trousseau.

Primary Object Classification
Decorative Arts

Primary Object Type
lacquer

Additional Object Classification(s)
Wood and Woodcarving

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Japan
containers (receptacles)
covers
crests (motifs)
floral patterns
lacquer (coating)
marriage (social construct)
wood

1 Related Resource

Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved