Lacquer pyx (sacrament box)

From Japan
Late 16th - early 17th century AD

The namban ornament on this pyx is an example of how Japanese lacquer and makie artists adapted their skills to cater for European taste. The body of the box has a complicated all-over design of flowers and leaves. The decorative rim finished with metal on the lid is a European addition. On the top of the lid appear the initials IHS, the monogram of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit brotherhood, who organized Catholic missionaries to Japan.

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More information


L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)


Diameter: 11.200 cm
Height: 9.000 cm (with lid)

Museum number

Asia JA 1969.4-15.1a, b



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