The mother-of-pearl inlaid Japanese black lacquer cabinet with two doors opening to reveal drawers decorated overall with flowering trees and birds within black and gold japanned frames and with foliate engraved gilt-metal strapwork mounts, surmounted with silvered wood strapwork and foliate scrolling cresting on conforming stand
7412 in. (189.5 cm.) high, 29 (74 cm.) wide, 1512 in. (39.5 cm.) deep
The Collection of Edward Hudson.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 9 October 1993, lot 362.
The Collection of Gordon and Ann Getty; Sotheby's, New York, 21-22 October 1999, lot 476.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 12 October 2007, lot 200.
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Lot Essay

The present cabinet with its distinctive black, silvered and gilt lacquered decoration off-set with inlays of mother-of-pearl was among the first Japanese export lacquer goods to arrive in the West. The literal translation of namban is 'Southern Barbarian' which first referred to Portuguese merchants who arrived on the southwest coast of Japan following the infamous 1543 shipwreck. The term held after the continuing arrival of foreign ships from Europe. This type of lacquer decoration was made for export and initially produced primarily for Portuguese markets in the 16th century. When the Dutch gained a foothold in Japan in the early 17th century, they quickly saw the trade potential of lacquered goods, the first shipment of namban lacquer arrived in Holland in 1610.

The elaborately carved stand and cresting relate to an example sold in these rooms on 11 October, 2007, lot 1892. A further similar example formerly in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and now at Temple Newsam House, Leeds is illustrated in P. Macquoid and R. Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1954, rev. ed., vol. I, pl. III, p. 176, fig. 24.
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