Japanese Tabako-bon with Gilt Mountain Landscapes

c. 1850
$1,280 USD
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W: 9.0" D: 5.5" H: 7.0"
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This lacquered box is a Japanese tabako-bon, or 'tobacco tray,' used to store tobacco and smoking accessories. Believed to have evolved from the traditional accessories of Japanese incense ceremony, tabako-bons first came into use in the 17th century and were often beautifully decorated to display one's wealth and status.

This example dates to the mid-19th century and is finished with black lacquer and intricate gilt decoration in the hiramaki-e style. Although years of use have faded the decoration considerably, the box was once brilliantly gilt on all sides and sprinkled with powdered metals and minerals for an iridescent sheen. Each side depicts a serene landscape of a mountain range or river valley, framed by a geometric meander on the upper panel.

The upper portion of the tabako-bon holds two removable metal containers, the larger a small hibachi (hi-ire) used to light one's pipe and the smaller a receptacle for ash and waste. The three lower drawers were used to hold shredded tobacco, tongs, and cleaning tools. A wonderful example of a fine Japanese lacquerware, this smoking set lives on as a beautiful keepsake of the past.

Some wear to lacquer at edges and corners. Missing two small brass loops on box front. Missing original lids to metal containers.

Additional Dimensions:
With Handle Upright: 9.5"H
Upper Drawers: 3.75"W x 4.5"D x 0.75"H
Lower Drawer: 8"W x 4.5"D x 1"H

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Elizabeth Krueger | Elizabeth Krueger Design

“PAGODA RED was extremely supportive in helping to pull accessory options together for the Lake Forest Showhouse. After providing them with details and our vision on how we were looking to finish our space, Laurene helped curate options that made it easy for us to edit and finalize. It's also no surprise that the unique pieces we used in our showhouse space were some of the first to sell.”

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