Document Box with Design of Lotuses
Artist/maker unknown, Japanese
Although the name of its craftsman is not known, this document box is a superb example of lacquerware from the early Meiji period. The first decade of the era was particularly noteworthy for the fine workmanship applied to all crafts, with the intention of competing on the world market. Here a raised design of lotus leaves and blossoms, some with "wormholes," stands out boldly against a black lacquer ground with powdered gold sprinkled throughout. The lotus motif continues along the four sides of the box, where the lotus stems rise from the swirling waters of a pond.