Meiji Suzuribako writing box with inlaid quail amongst maize, c.1870
Japanese Suzuribako writing box with intricate panel of quail by a maize plant, modelled in high relief in various woods and bone, the rest of the box adorned with an intricately carved cell pattern, the interior lined in jet black lacquer with gilt foliage to the inside of lid, fitted with a full set of writing instruments, including silver butterfly Suiteki inset within a silver dish, carved slate ink-stone with gilt rim, two brushes, a bodkin with lacquer sheath & matching steel blade with inscribed maker’s inscription, a lacquer & silvered metal ink stick holder and two moulded & gilt ink blocks.
23.5cm x 20.5cm
Condition: some losses to inlay, some restoration, crack to inside lacquer, one brush tip missing
Comparable piece in the Royal Collection: presented to Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh by Emperor Meiji in 1869. Accession number: RCIN 33949