• Japan, late 18th century, early 19th century 
  • Lacquer, mother-of-pearl and hardstones 
  • Inv. 1364


This red lacquer inrō has four cases or compartments and is signed by Yoyusai. The decoration covers the entire surface and depicts a squirrel in relief hanging from a vine that has bunches of grapes in mother-of-pearl and some leaves in green-tinged ivory while others are in gold hiramakie (flat sprinkled painting).

The artist’s signature appears on the base in gilded letters. The nashiji (lacquer sprinkled with small pieces of gold leaf) technique was used on the interior.

Norie Collection, 1900; Sir Trevor Lawrence Collection. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian, through B. Coureau, at the sale of the Sir Trevor Lawrence Collection, Christie's, London, 4 December 1916.

H. 7.5 cm; W. 5.5 cm; D. 2.5 cm 

Goffen 1995

Rona Goffen (ed.), Museums Discovered. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Woodbine Books, 1995, pp. 200–1.

Lisbon 2001 (a)

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2001, p. 80, cat. 58.

Lisbon 2001 (b)

Pedro Moura Carvalho (coord.), The World of Lacquer. 2000 Years of History, exhibition catalogue. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2001, p. 80, cat. 58.

Updated on 22 april 2022

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