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Japan

Document box and cover (bunko) c. 1900 - 1907

Gold and silver lacquer on wood | 11.7 x 18.5 x 23.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 29450

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Ornate lacquer boxes such as this were often selected for official gifts since lacquer (urushi) represented a distinctly Japanese medium. This example combines elements of western realism with a smooth ground, created by polishing dense gold powder to a bright finish. It was presented in 1907 during negotiation of military agreements between the two nations.