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Japan

Writing desk (bundai) early twentieth century

Gold lacquer and silvered metal on wood | 12.2 x 60.5 x 36.1 cm (whole object) | RCIN 7121

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Poetry and religious texts played an important role in courtly life, necessitating high-quality equipment for calligraphy. The swooping plovers on this writing table symbolise long life, because their cry sounds like chiyo, which means ‘1000 generations’.