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Japan

Cabinet with shelves (shodana) c. 1850 - 1859

Wood, black and gold lacquer, silver gilt | 79.0 x 102.3 x 49.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 10451

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Furniture as it is known in the West was almost entirely absent from Japan before the Meiji period (1868–1912). The exceptions were asymmetrical open cabinets such as this. Prepared in matching sets for wealthy brides, they were accompanied by dozens of small cosmetic boxes, mirror stands and incense equipment.