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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 Manufacturecirca 1890
- Materials and Techniques
- DimensionsH 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 LocationNew Orleans, LA
- Seller Reference Number29-9114
- Reference NumberLU891110411843
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About the Seller
5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2010
Located in New Orleans, LA
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