Created by Inami Kirokusai II, this writing box features an elongated rectangular form with a domed flush-fitting lid. The polished black lacquer ground is decorated in gold and silver lacquer and inlaid with pewter in the shape of a budding willow tree and a flowering plum tree. The interior is finished in gold lacquer decoration of five pine seedlings. The piece comes with the original ink stone and silver water-dropper. It's signed Kirokusai in gold lacquer inside the lid with a red mark.
This writing box was very likely a New Year gift and is an excellent example of the 20th-century revival of the Rinpa lacquer style. It comes with its original fitted kiri-wood tomobako storage box inscribed outside in ink Writing Box with Early Spring Design and signed Kirokusai inside in ink with a red seal mark reading Kirokusai.
A native of Wajima, Inami Kirokusai II (1902–81) showed at numerous national exhibitions in Japan, as well as at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933. He was commissioned to make a set of lacquer furniture for Britain’s Prince of Wales.
Inami Kirokusai II
Wood with gold, silver and black lacquer and pewter inlays; ink-stone; silver
24 x 13 x 3.5 cm