Japanese Meiji Lacquer Writing Set For Sale
Want more images?
Request additional images from the seller
1 of 5 images

Japanese Meiji Lacquer Writing Set


This remarkable Japanese portable writing set contains the instruments of sublime artistic expression. Also known as a yatate, this Meiji-period set includes a low writing table, an ink stone, or suzuri and water dropper, or mizusashi, in a compact or silk-covered saturation pad, and a set of five metal implements. Incredible lacquer decoration of tree-lined, rolling hills distinguish the larger items, and all of these are held inside a finely crafted box of bare wood, which is marked with a Japanese inscription and bound with a ribbon handle. Yatate, which means “arrow stand,” were first invented during the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Before they were invented, whenever anyone wanted to write or draw in ink, he had to make his own by grinding the ink stick in water on the grinding stone. Samurai warriors often had to write letters and reports from the field, and therefore carried their writing tools with them, including a small grinding stone set in a drawer at the bottom of their arrow quiver. This grinding stone became known as the yatate no suzuri (arrow stand's grinding stone), then simply “yatate.” As it was burdensome to have to pull out one’s writing implements every time one needed to write, the idea of saturating a piece of cotton or silk in liquid ink was born. This could be carried about in a simple container without any worry of spills. If a dispatch was required, the warrior need simply to slide open the lid and press his brush into the cotton, circa 1890 Measures: 9" wide x 1 1/2" deep x 10 3/4" high.


  • Of the Period
  • Place of Origin
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1890
  • Dimensions
    H 10.75 in. x W 9 in. x D 1.5 in.H 27.31 cm x W 22.86 cm x D 3.81 cm
  • Seller Location
    New Orleans, LA
  • Seller Reference Number
  • Reference Number
Buyer Protection Guaranteed
Our Promise To You: If you're not happy with the way an item arrived, we'll work with you and the seller to reach an optimal resolution. Read more

Shipping, Returns & Payment

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity

    Some items may require special handling and packaging. Request a shipping quote to see what options are available to your destination.

  • Return Policy

    This item can be returned within 7 days of delivery.

    View details
  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

About the Seller

5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2010
Located in New Orleans, LA
You may also contact the seller by phoneCall seller through 1stdibs
More From This Seller
Meiji Period Japanese Silver Censer
Meiji Period Japanese Silver Censer
20th Century Japanese Meiji Metalwork
This stunning Meiji period silver censer is a work of exquisite detail. Crafted by renowned silversmith Masatoshi of Tokyo, the censer, or incense burner, is raised on three masterfu...
Meiji-Period Japanese Silver Tea Canisters
Meiji-Period Japanese Silver Tea Canisters
Antique 19th Century Japanese Meiji Serving Pieces
These exceptional Japanese silver tea canisters were crafted during Japan's highly creative Meiji period. The impeccable pair feature an intricate design of irises in high relief wra...
Meiji Period Gold Lacquer Two-Tiered Stand
Meiji Period Gold Lacquer Two-Tiered Stand
20th Century Asian Other Furniture
Golden lacquer distinguishes this outstanding Japanese two-tiered stand of the Meiji period. The stand features a delicate botanical scene with chrysanthemums on the top and other na...
Mettlach Punch Set

Mettlach Punch Set

By Mettlach
$4,850 / set
Mettlach Punch Set
20th Century German Other Serving Bowls
This superb 14-piece Mettlach PUG, or "printed under glaze", punch set remarkably retains its original, uniquely decorated cups and tray. The punch bowl features six scenes...

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries