Red-and-Black Lacquer Travel Tea Box

W: 3.0" D: 1.5" H: 4.0"
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This small box from the early 20th century was originally used as a portable case for loose leaf tea, the perfect accessory for the traveler with fine tastes. Made in the style of Japanese negoro lacquerware, the petite box is finished with an even layer of black lacquer and decorated with delicate red lacquer brushwork. Such red and black lacquered layers give negoro wares an ambience of antiquity and elegance, making them treasured objects through the ages.

Atop the black lacquer finish is a peaceful scene of a songbird perched upon a flowering prunus branch, brushed with a contrasting red lacquer. A common motif in Chinese art, prunus trees are an emblem of winter and a symbol of strength in the face of adversity. The opposite side of the box is brushed with an idyllic mountain landscape peppered with small buildings and gnarled pine trees. The lid is painted with Chinese characters that read as "travel tea box" and opens to reveal an interior lined with a bold red lacquer.

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