Lacquer suzuribako, unsigned
19th century, Japan
Height: 27.3 cm, 10.7 inches. Width: 24.4 cm, 9.6 inches
Of rounded rectangular shape, the overhanging lid with bevelled edge decorated in togidashi, gold, silver and iro-e hir-maki-e and takamaki-e on a kinji ground with a circular panel depicting an amorous couple in a room with a garden view of cherry blossoms, the courtesan clad in a multi-layered kimono seated plucking a shamisen as her reclining client attentively listens, tea and tobacco paraphernalia strewn about, all on a ground of gyobu, the interior in uchikomi, kirikane, gold hiramaki-e and takamaki-e on a dense nashiji ground with pine, bamboo and plum [shochikubai] along a rocky bank of a fast-flowing river, the box fitted with a brush-rest, an inkstone and a silvered metal suiteki [waterdropper] in the form of a recumbent crane with a gilt beak, the rim of the box and cover edged in silver and the underside in nashiji, accompanied by a tomobako inscribed Bijin makie, On suzuribako
The subject of an amorous couple depicted on the lid is after a noted ukiyo-e painter and artist Utagawa Toyohiro (1773-1828).