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Incense Guessing Game

Incense Guessing Game

1615-1868

Lacquer

Overall: 23 x 25.4 x 16.6 cm (9 1/16 x 10 x 6 9/16 in.)

Gift of George Trumbull Ladd 1921.405

Location

Description

A popular pastime in the Edo period was a game in which a group of players passed around incense and guessed its name or scent; boxes or cabinets containing all the tools necessary for the game were often part of a woman’s wedding trousseau. Small pieces of incense would be placed on thin mica plates and heated over hot ash, releasing their aroma for the players to smell as they were passed around. Players then cast their guesses with playing pieces. The game master kept score with the writing set. This game is handsomely decorated with images of deer in an autumn setting. The blue and white porcelain containers in which the incense was passed feature designs of foreigners.

See also
Collection: 
Japanese Art
Department: 
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Lacquer
Medium: 
Lacquer

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