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New exhibition at Thomsen Gallery

Stacked Writing Box with Chrysanthemum and Plume Grass (detail), 1910s
Maki-e gold lacquer on wood; silver rims and gold pins
Size 3¼ x 9¼ x 5¼ in. (8.5 x 23 x 13 cm)

Golden Treasures: Japanese Lacquer Boxes, is the new online exhibition at Thomsen Gallery and includes 24 lacquer works dating from the 18th century to the present day, on view from now until January 30, 2021.

All of the works are examples of maki-e, which translates to “sprinkled pictures” and refers to the technique of sprinkling powders of gold and silver onto wet lacquer, a distinctly Japanese tradition that first developed in the Heian period (794–1185). In maki-e works, the luminous characteristic of natural lacquer, which gives the impression of capturing and retaining light, is augmented by the brilliance of gold powders and flakes in the brightly polished surfaces.

The exhibition is also on view in the gallery, which is open by appointment only.