This writing set consists of a writing box and document box depicting mountain landscapes in spring and autumn.

The water theme on the exterior continues in the interior and the swirling wave theme was influential on the Art Nouveau movement in the West. The boxes reflect the preoccupations of Japanese artists of the mid-Meiji period, who were striving to create art that preserved Eastern traditions while absorbing the best of Western concepts and techniques. This set is the first important lacquerwork acquisition for the Ashmolean and enhances its strong collection of Meiji decorative arts.


Nishimura Kozo, Kyoto; Mr J Takeda, Kyoto; private collection, Tokyo. The works have been vetted by the Art Loss Register and LSAD.

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