A small cabinet for incense ceremony lacquered in hiramaki-e, togidashi and tsuishu takamaki-e. Silver fittings.
Edo period, 19th century
9.8 by 7 by 7.9 cm
The small rectangular chest is decorated with red lobsters of thick vermilion lacquer (tsuishu) on a kinji ground. The interior of the hinged door is inlaid in mother-of-pearl (raden) with seashells on a nashiji ground, while the faces of the three drawers show a design of stylized waves.
Small cabinets like this were originally used for the incense ceremony to store the elements used for a game of identification of different blends of incense.
The lobster is an auspicious subject, as it is a symbol of longevity (curve like the back of an old man) and red is the color of vitality.