Red lacquered wooden duck-shaped container wth lid
This duck-shaped container was probably used at weddings, perhaps to serve rice or some other food. Red is the color of happiness, appropriate for a wedding. Mandarin ducks, believed to mate for life, are symbols of marital bliss and conjugal fidelity.
It is inlaid with mother-of-pearl designed with scenery and lacquered overall.
Lacquerware are items that have been painted with a decorative material called lacquer. This style is thought to have originated in South Asia, where it is still produced in countries including China, Japan, and Burma, as well as Korea and Vietnam. These countries, while utilizing many of the same techniques and similar styles, have also developed their own characteristic elements of lacquerware. The special style of Korean lacquerware is to inlay mother-of-pearl in combination with tortoise shell.
An elegant writing box, which originally came with a paperknife, a water-dropper, and a stone for grinding the ink. Black laquer with poetic motifs formed out of abalone shells, gold, silver and corroded lead.
An autumnal scene of a lone gate with tree, thatched fence and the moon. Interior of the box is decorated with wild autumn flowers done using the laborious maki-e technique.
The sword is long and slightly curved; the metal smith's name is engraved on the metal handle. The scabbard is painted with black laquer with image of samurai and cherry tree. He wears a jacket, pants, a straw hat and a sword, holding a brush, possibly writing a poem on a piece of paper hanging from the tree. The figure and tree are painted with rose-color and gold laquer.
Long swords (tachi) were the most important belongings for samurai, almost as equal to their lives; as many tragic stories attest, samurai could commit suicide when his sword was taken, stolen, or lost. The samurai in the laquered scabbard engages in a traditional literal activity, versing a poem in promptu. The combination of samurai and the literal practice may suggest the way of samurai" (bushidô) ideal: "exel in both civil and military pursuits" (bunbu ryôdô).
The sword is long and slightly curved; the handle cover is wrapped with black cords, mostly worn out. The round tsuba (sword guard) is made of steel and has two holes. The scabbard is painted with lacquer and has a string for hanging. There is a pair of lion-shaped menuki (fitting) on the handle.
Long swords (tachi) were the most important belongings for samurai, almost as equal to their lives; as many tragic stories attest, samurai could commit suicide when his sword was taken, stolen, or lost.
Lacquered wooden box with inlaid mother-of-pearl in double-dragon design. The heads of each dragon stretch diagonally inward from opposite corners of the box, with wide eyes and open mouths. Their bodies curve in and out of the top plane of the box, creating an opposing effect with symmetrical balance. The dragons reach forward towards a flaming orb in the center of the box, called a cintamani, or Buddhist wish-granting jewel. Among the dragons are swirling cloud designs made of inlaid nacre and copper wire.
Box decorated with double-dragons reaching for cintamani (Buddhist wish-granting jewel).