Tiered Food Box with Summer and Autumn Fruits

Artist: Shibata Zeshin (Japanese, 1807–1891)

Period: Meiji period (1868–1912)

Date: ca. 1868–90

Culture: Japan

Medium: Brown lacquer with gold, silver, and colored lacquer maki-e

Dimensions: H. 16 1/8 in. (41 cm); W. 9 in. (22.9 cm); D. 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm)

Classification: Lacquer

Credit Line: Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift and Parnassus Foundation/Jane and Raphael Bernstein Gift, 2010

Accession Number: 2010.143a–g


This box, designed for the storage and serving of sumptuous edibles at festive occasions, has a continuous design of summer and autumn fruits, including grapes, melons, loquats, and pears. The lacquer ground is a rich, very dark brown decorated with metal and colored lacquer applied using a variety of techniques to create the different fruits.