Round mirror box

From Japan
Possibly made in the Kamakura period (1185-1333)

Hiramakie and mother-of-pearl inlay

We can not be certain exactly when this box was made, as decorative techniques using gold filings were developed in Japan as early as the Nara period (AD 710-94) and continued well into the seventeenth century. The design has delicate pieces of mother-of-pearl inlaid into the lacquer background, which has been scattered with gold filings and burnished giving it the appearance of flat gold.

The box was made to contain a round bronze mirror, perhaps similar to one in The British Museum's collections.

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More information


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


Diameter: 12.000 cm

Museum number

Asia JA 1945.10-17.379


Bequeathed by Oscar Raphael


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