Japanese urushi lacquer box with mother-of-pearl kamon decoration


Adorable vintage Japanese handmade box (Shōwa era) in wood covered with several layers of deep, glossy black Japanese urushi lacquer, on which a delightful decoration has been applied using the traditional raden (螺鈿) technique, mother-of-pearl inlay;

This involves inlaying the object with pieces of iridescent abalone shell, which are shaved to a very fine thickness. The mother-of-pearl is worked into 3 floral motifs (including the paulownia flower, kiri) in a circle, according to the principle of kamon, the Japanese coat-of-arms.  This is meticulous, precise work, which gives the whole a remarkable contrasting iridescent black/white effect.

Its rectangular shape, its thinness (it is 3cm thick) and its rounded edges make it a very soft and extremely decorative object. It can be used as a display object, or as a box to store a few treasures, like precious pens on a desk for example. It is closed with a sanadahimo, a braided cord.

The box itself is protected in a light paulownia wood box, signed by the craftsman and also closed with a sanadahimo tie (braided cord);

All in perfect condition. Note that the lid of the protective box is split down the middle, a charming legacy from a previous life.

A precious work for yourself or to a lover of Japanese culture, who will surely appreciate the delicacy of this work

This object is one-of-a-kind.


(lacquered box) Length 24cm x Width 16cm x Height 3cm

WEIGHT (total) 364gr
COMPOSITION Wood, urushi lacquer, raden (mother-of-pearl)

The traditional Japanese lacquer, urushi, is made from the sap of the lacquer tree (Rhus Verniciflua), which flows out after incision of the bark. It is a very precious material, a tree will only give a maximum of 200ml of sap in its life, which is worked by craftsmen each specialized in a particular stage. It takes many slow and meticulous operations to give life to lacquered objects. It is the oldest craft in Japan! Initially used to protect and waterproof objects, this immutable craft has become an art of extreme sophistication. If you want to know more about the art of Japanese lacquerware, you can read our dedicated article here.

This object keeps in memory the hand of the craftsman who designed it with patience. It will accompany your daily life, bringing its delicate and refined beauty, while contributing to the preservation of unique craftsmanship.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS Clean with a very soft cloth to avoid scratches, soaked with a little warm water if necessary (never soak your lacquered objects). No microwave, dishwasher, dryer. Do not expose to direct sunlight for a long time (risk of discoloration). If the atmosphere is very dry and very hot, and to avoid the risk of cracking, you can place a glass filled with water next to your lacquered object.

Shipping costs will be calculated and added at checkout.

We usually ship orders within 48 business hours (except for fine art photographic prints, which require between 5 and 10 business days because they are prepared on demand), but it may happen that this delay is longer when new collections are put online or if we are traveling abroad.
In this case we will indicate the new delays in the announcement banner at the top of each page of the site, please refer to it before ordering (the usual delays would apply if the banner does not refer to it).

The shipping costs are calculated and added during the finalization of the basket.

Deliveries are made by Colissimo with tracking. Each package is, at the buyer's choice, delivered at home against a signature or delivered in a Point Relais La Poste. Packages are insured up to their value against loss or damage.

For the moment we deliver in France (metropolitan and overseas), the European Union countries and United States. Subscribe to our newsletter to be informed of the opening of new geographical areas.

Metropolitan France, Andorra, Monaco. From 5,47€

France Overseas zone 1 (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, Guyana, Mayotte and St-Pierre-et-Miquelon). From 15,71€

France Overseas zone 2 (New Caledonia, French Polynesia...). From 23.05€

Zone 1 (Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands). From 10,55€

Zone 2 (Austria, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Portugal). From 12,12€

Zone 3 (Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden). From 13,63€

Zone 4 (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Finland, Greece, Malta, Romania). From 16,00€

Zone 5 (United States). From 30,80€

Also to be discovered

Recently seen