This Japanese suzuribako (ink box) of late Meiji Period (circa end of 19th century) is uncommon with its surface covered with woven basketry in chevron pattern. Once opened, the viewer is struck with a splendid Maki-e interior decoration in sharp contrast with the plain exterior.
With masterful composition and in great and fine details, the decoration under the cover depicts a tranquil nocturnal scenery. Under a full moon among shifting clouds, a fenced thatched roof hut sits under a blooming camellia tree behind rock outcrops by the edge of the water. Hira and takamaki-e were used effectively with kirigane and silver inlays to create a poetic and dimensional image. The workmanship is superb, showing a full mastery of the techniques. The motif continues to the other side of the interior with a brush compartment that features two knotty pines on rocks, and a tray for a removable ink stone and a silver handled waterdrop (suiteki).
Extraordinarily, the suzuibako retains a set of five writing instrument in gold lacquer finish and silver ornament. This includes a matching set of two brush pens, a paper knife and a paper pricker and an ink stick inscribed Kyukyodo, which was founded in 1663 and was the official stationer supplier to the imperial house from 1891 to 1945. It is uncommon for a suzuribako to retain its writing accoutrement. The rest of the interior and the base were finished in a dense "pear-skin" nashiji.
The rim of the box is lined with a metal rim (appears to be zinc) that shows even aged patina. The original tomobako storage box measures 10.5" x 8.5" x 4 and it retains two paper labels in Kanji indicating its content.It is translated as "Suzuribako with woven surface; Rock over Waves Internal Maki-e on Nashji background". There is also a red cotton pad for interior protection and a brocade wrapping cloth. A rare and complete set. H 1 in W 7 in D 9 in. This item is in the category "Antiques\Asian Antiques\Japan\Other Japanese Antiques". The seller is "gallery-t" and is located in this country: US.