Nov 3, 2016
Nov 2, 2016
Nov 2, 2016
Nov 2, 2016

Writing Box (Suzuribako) with Phoenix in Paulownia

Writing Box (Suzuribako) with Phoenix in Paulownia


late 1500s

Part of a set. See all set records

Lacquer on wood with sprinkled gold and silver powder (maki-e) and gold and silver foil application

4 x 20.5 x 23.5 cm (1 9/16 x 8 1/16 x 9 1/4 in.)

Weight: 680 g (1.5 lbs.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2016.34


Did you know?

In contrast to the bright, celebratory motifs on the exterior, the interior of the box invites a more reflective mood with its autumn moonlit sky over chrysanthemums.


The only place the mythical phoenix will perch is in the paulownia tree. Along with the dragon, the bird is a symbol of imperial power in East Asia. This box––a container for an inkstone, brushes, and ink––is both functional and lavish, its dramatic effects achieved with a pear-skin ground decoration (nashiji) and sprinkled powder decoration in high relief (takamaki-e).

See also

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