Tiered lacquer picnic box

From Japan,
Edo period, late 17th century AD

The four separate compartments of this tiered box would have contained rice, fish, vegetables and pickles. The exuberant design is reminiscent of paintings of the Rimpa school artist Sōtatsu and his successors, and typifies the exuberant urban taste of the Genroku era (1688-1704).

The box is decorated with black lacquer with gold hiramakie and shell inlay. In places silver powder has been mixed with the gold to give a paler effect. Again, for variety some of the poppy petals have been polished revealing the gold flakes suspended below the surface of the lacquer, to give the nashiji effect.

Find in the collection online

More information


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


Length: 27.300 cm
Width: 27.300 cm
Height: 38.000 cm

Museum number

Asia JA 1945.10-17.487.a


Bequeathed by Oscar Raphael


Find in the collection online

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore