Historically Important and Rare Japanese Lacquer Trunk < >

Historically Important and Rare Japanese Lacquer Trunk

This trunk (originally used to store textiles) was commissioned by the Tokugawa Shogunate in the late Edo period to commemorate his allegiance with approximately 275 families associated with his court by using their family crests as the decoration. The crests are mostly rendered in gold leaf and there is some nashiji on the trunk's edges and on the interior of the lid. The bronze mounts are incised with more family crest imagery and show traces of the original gold leaf patina. All mon (family crests) are identified in calligraphy, also in gold lacquer. The main crest appearing on the center of the lid and again inside the lid is that of the hollyhock. "The most illustrious bearers of the hollyhock as a family crest was one of the greatest bloodlines in Japanese history, the Tokugawa. Both the main shogunal line and branch families bearing the name of Matsudaira used variations of the hollyhock crest. Along with chrysanthemum and paulownia, the hollyhock occupied the pinnacle of prestige among Japanese crests," From Elements of Japanese Design, by John Dower. The underside of the lid has a dedication in calligraphy with another Tokugawa family crest. The text names the three hatamoto families (samurai families under retainer of the Tokugawa): Tayasu, Shimizu, Hitotsubashi. The calligraphy also mentions the prowess of the Tokugawa family, which back then was measured by rice barrels and armored forces. This lists the Tokugawa as having 10,000 rice barrels and 80,000 armored forces.

First half of the 19th century
26 1/2" h x 58" w x 25 1/2" d
67.3cm h x 147.3cm w x 64.8cm d x 0cm diam
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