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Akatsuka Jitoku (1871-1936)

Miniature cabinet of drawers c.1907

Black, gold and silver lacquer, with inlays of mother-of-pearl, horn and shell, on wood | 21.3 x 24.9 x 16.6 cm (whole object) | RCIN 33967

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Rectangular cabinet, with two hinged front doors, fixed in the centre by shaped lock-plates of shakudo (a copper and gold alloy) black metal, with chrysanthemum bud knobs and reinforced corners, supported on four corner feet attached to a low, bowed apron. Inside, one full-length drawer and six half-length drawers above, with a folding, lobed, gilt-bronze carrying handle attached to the top. The outside decorated on a fundame ground, with a continuous design showing, on the front, a peacock, its feathers studded with aogai (inlaid pieces of shell on lacquer) green eyes, taking flight over azaleas in bloom and a craggy rock with relief work, and on the back, a peahen standing on one leg. Azalea flowers in gold and silver continuing on to the top, which bears the imperial chrysanthemum mon crest. Inside, on the drawer fronts and opened doors, tree foliage in sprinkled gold on a black ground, with many silver butterflies outlined in mother-of-pearl, the flat loop handles to the drawers of translucent horn. On the inside of the right-hand door, the signature and maker's mark Akatsuka Jitoku kao, in gold and red lacquer.

Text adapted from Chinese and Japanese Works of Art in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen: Volume III.