This very unusual (and in my experience unique) item is Japanese from the Meiji period. It is made of enameled black lacquer on wood with some mother of pearl inlay and enamel decoration. It has the metamorphic feature of having a finial at the top that when twisted spins the old albumin framed prints of Geishas and reveals smoking pipe racks (missing on all but one spinning plaque). This is facilitated by wooden gears hidden in the base of the piece. The closed base of the piece also has a drawer for tobacco or for whatever was being smoked.
Each of the glazed framed albumin portraits plaques of young Japanese women date to the 1880's except one that our shop had to reproduce given that it was missing. We were able to add a period photo that matches well from a real photo postcard that was in our collection.I have owned this piece since about 1975 when I bought it here in a local antique shop. It was in a box when I got it and now after 45 years! We have been finally able to return it to working condition in our restoration studio. As already mentioned one of the spinning framed photograph plaques is a complete replacement. Two small frame elements were missing on one of the other plaques are replacements. Two wooden gears had to be replaced and we had to do some touchup on various parts of the lacquer surface. We did not attempt to replicate the gold and red enamel decoration of the replaced parts but I think the parts blend well. The spinning gears work pretty well but, given 100 plus years of use, they is a bit of slack in the whole system. The overall height of the piece is 13" and it is 6" square at the base. This item is in the category "Antiques\Asian Antiques\Japan\Other Japanese Antiques". The seller is "phinneyfarm" and is located in this country: US. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, Sweden, Korea, South, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Africa, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Republic of, Malaysia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei Darussalam, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, French Guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein, Sri Lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macau, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Peru, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion, Vietnam, Uruguay.