This is a very special Japanese three drawer (with lidded top section), portable calligraphy tansu made of kuri (chestnut) wood with cryptomeria wood interiors. This chest shows a high degree of Japanese craftsmanship in the joinery, being made with hardened hinoki pegged wood (see picture 11 & 12).

The protective iron metal on this chest as well as the forged iron single action lock date it conservatively to the late Edo Era (c.1860). All drawer pulls, hinges, locks and latches are made of thick forged iron with a protective coat of burnt lacquer. Every nail was hand forged. This small chest was used to hold calligraphy and writing materials as well as money and valuables. The lidded top section held brushes and an ink stone (suzuri) (not included).

The entire surface as well as the inside of the lidded section have a protective coat of Japanese urushi lacquer. There was a persimmon tannin stain applied directly to the wood before the lacquer to give it its burgundy color. With the exception of a few scuffed areas (see picture 8 and others) this 150 year old original finish remains throughout.

This chest has been well loved yet well used and still has its original deep warm patina that only a century of loving use could provide. The top carrying handle is still secure and provides a convenient way
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