This is a RARE, VINTAGE, EXCELLENT Condition, Hand-Crafted " Lacquered Japanese Lacquer Wood With Inlaid Crane Birds And Pine Tree Abalone Mother-Of-Pearl Inlay Wooden Lidded Cigarette Storage Smoking Stash Box With Brass Ashtray " made in Japan in the mid-1940s . My father bought this Box at a shop in the village of Toshima while he was studying at the University of Nagoya in Japan in 1946. Although he was not a smoker, the inlay work was so captivating that he purchased it as a display piece. Never used as a Smoking Box, both the box and ashtray are in EXCELLENT Condition with NO marks, stains, odors or other damage; it comes (ironically) from a smoke-free, pet-free home. Measuring approximately 9 inches long, approximately 5 1/4 inches wide and approximately 2 1/2 inches tall, the lid if fully removable. The EXQUISITE Mother-of-Pearl design depicts a several cranes congregating on the branches of Pine Trees. In Japan, the pine tree is a symbol of elevated consciousness and dignified spirit; and cranes represent nobility. The elaborate inlay detail makes this a breathtaking piece for storing personal items or simply for display. It is quite remarkable that the artist could depict the scene in such detail without brush or pen, but only with hand-cut abalone mother of pearl strips. The Lacquer finish is rich and inside, below the ashtray, it is lined with red velvet velveteen. The rich dark lacquered wood provides a WONDERFUL background for the Crane and Pine Tree design done with inlaid abalone mother of pearl. This box is NOT footed and sits directly on any surface. The inside "cigarette" storage section is the same lacquer finish as the outside. On the right side is a small brass bowl ashtray with four cigarette rests; between the cigarette rests are raised relief men male figures. The painstaking work of this box is evident when you gaze upon it. Each layer of lacquer was hand applied, cured to harden, polished then reapplied - as many as 50 coats may have been applied to coat this object. With a fully removable lid and removable ashtray, matches can be stored below the astray while cigarettes were to be stored in the open section on the left. This breathtaking Box is made of lacquered wood and inlaid with hand-cut Mother-of-Pearl Abalone shell. The construction and craftsmanship is SUPERB and hard to find. Throughout all of Asia, the crane has been a symbol of happiness and eternal youth. In Japanese, cranes stand for good fortune and longevity because of its fabled life span of a thousand years. The Japanese refer to the crane as the bird of happiness. It was appraised in the mid-1990s for $125 Insurance Replacement Value . IDEAL for use or display, it is the PERFECT addition to any Vintage Tobacciana, Hand-Crafted, Lacquered, Japanese Lacquer, Wood, Inlaid, Crane Birds, Pine Tree, Abalone Shell, Mother Of Pearl, Inlay, Wooden, Lidded, Cigarette Storage, Smoking Box, Brass Ashtry, Japan or 1940s Smoking Tobacco Accessory Collection!
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