Box for writing implements (suzuribako)

Historical period(s)
Momoyama or Edo period, ca. 1600
Lacquer, silver, and gold on wood; enameled bronze; inkstone
H x W x D (overall): 3.6 x 12.7 x 10.5 cm (1 7/16 x 5 x 4 1/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — funds provided by the Friends of Asian Arts
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Container, Lacquer


chrysanthemum, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Momoyama period (1573 - 1615), writing
Provenance research underway.

This small box, like the other on view here, was designed to hold writing materials. This example is decorated in two contrasting designs divided along the diagonal by a zigzag line. The contrast between the autumnal grasses and chrysanthemums against a black background and the circular silver and gold circular motifs creates a dynamic composition in a style made popular by artisans in Kyoto during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The water-dropper of enameled bronze is cast in the form of chrysanthemum blossoms. This piece was the first suzuribako to be acquired by the Sackler Gallery and is an important addition to the museum's small collection of pre-modern Japanese art.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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