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Japan

Writing box and cover (suzuribako) late eighteenth to early nineteenth century

Black, gold, silver lacquer, coral and horn on wood and gilt bronze | 3.8 x 19.4 x 18 cm (whole object) | RCIN 33949

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Writing boxes were selected as choice gifts from the Japanese court, which had been home to a scriptorium since the eighth century. This dramatic scene of a dragon among storm clouds has its roots in Chinese philosophy, where dragons are associated with water and believed to control rain.