Kogo (incense box)

Mid Edo period, 18th century

Black ground; decoration in gold hiramaki-e. Rims: pewter. Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.9 x 3.1 cm.

Charles A. Greenfield collection
Private collection, Switzerland

New York, 1980, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“The Charles A Greenfield collection of Japanese lacquer”, Eskenazi Ltd., London: 1990, cat. 19 A.J.Pekarik, “Japanese Lacquer, 1600-1900”, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: 1980, cat.19, fig. 31

The antique Japanese tradition of folding love letters to form a knot around a tree branch derives from the Genji Monogatari. The fern pattern (shinobugusa), here executed in an extremely complicated design, is then a reference to this tradition and together with a symbol of eternal love: the Japanese word “shinobu” in fact has also a verb meaning of “too long for” or “to endure”. Being an autumn plant, this pattern inspires also a sense of romantic sadness. 


Antique Japanese lacquer kogo for sale. Price on application. Please include item stock number: lacc-1090


Inventory Nr: 1090

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