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Japanese Carved and Red Lacquer Kamakura-Bori Altar Table, Mid-19th Century



A fine and rare Japanese Kamakura-bori carved and red lacquered Buddhist altar table, Edo to Meiji period, mid-19th century, Japan. The Buddhist altar table of typical form, with dramatic flared legs that taper elegantly upwards to support a high waist and long altar top with upturned ends. Crafted in the Kamakura-bori technique, in which the wood is carved, then lacquered first with black lacquer, followed by red lacquer. The legs with carvings imitating brocade banners with an intricate manji diaper pattern ground. The carving continued up into the waisted section and terminating in large carved lotus buds. The high waisted mid section features a single large drawer, and is heavily carved with idyllic mountain and river landscape scenes to the front and back. The scenes reminiscent of Chinese shanshui (mountain and water) literati paintings. Carved scenes with sprays of chrysanthemum blossoms adorn the sides. All the scenes are framed with carved diaper patterned borders with the Tokugawa aoi (Hollyhock) mon to each of the corners. The top of the table features dramatic upturned ends exuberantly carved with a dense patterned of chrysanthemum flowers to the outer sides. The edges of the rectangular tabletop carved with a diaper ground motif, with the Tokugawa mon in each corner, as well as the ends of the upturned sections. The flat top of the table plain, showing wear from use, with the black lacquer being revealed in some areas, much like negoro lacquer. Although originally a Buddhist altar table, this exquisite table could be used as a small coffee table. Kamakura-bori is a Japanese lacquer technique in imitation of Chinese carved cinnabar lacquer. While Chinese carved cinnabar lacquer builds up layers of lacquer before carving, with Japanese Kamakura-bori lacquer, the underlying wood is first carved, then coated in a black lacquer, then a red lacquer. Kamakura-bori was a favored technique for Japanese Buddhist implements and furniture, such as this altar table. Measure: Height of tabletop: 18.75".


  • Dimensions
    Height: 22 in. (55.88 cm)Width: 27 in. (68.58 cm)Depth: 21 in. (53.34 cm)
  • Style
    Meiji (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1860
  • Condition
    Repaired: Two legs reattached. The two raised ends of the table top also reattached. A large repaired crack to the underside of the drawer. Refinished. Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Minor structural damages. Minor fading. Minor stabilized cracking to the lacquer top. The top also with rubbing to the lacquer, revealing hints of the black lacquer underneath, also with light scratching. Minor losses to the lacquer. A crack to the bottom of the drawer.
  • Seller Location
    Austin, TX
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU894721242832

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Austin, TX
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Austin, TX

Founded in 2001, Lotus Gallery offers a carefully curated selection of furniture, jewelry, sculpture and works of art spanning millennia, continents and cultures. Although it seeks out beauty in all its forms, they specialize in Asian antiquities, especially Chinese pieces from the Han and Tang dynasties and chinoiserie. Based in Austi...

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Established in 2001
1stDibs seller since 2010
155 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 2 hours
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