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Catalog Data

Donor Name:
First Japanese Mission To The USA  Search this
President James Buchanan  Search this
Culture:
Japanese  Search this
Object Type:
Brazier
Place:
Japan, Asia
Accession Date:
1860
Collection Date:
1860
Specimen Count:
3
Notes:
TRIPOD-FOOTED, GOLD-LAQUERED WOOD CYLINDER COVERED WITH A BASE COAT OF BLACK LACQUER. DECORATED WITH VARIOUS DESIGNS IN GOLD LEAF, GOLD LAQUER, AND VERY THIN IRRIDESCENT PEARL SHELL. REMOVABLE COPPER LINER. FROM CARD: "CYLINDER OF WOOD ABOUT 3/4" THICK, COVERED ALL OVER WITH A BASE COAT OF BLACK LACQUER. DECORATED OVER THE OUTSIDE WITH VARIOUS DESIGNS IN GOLD LEAF, GOLD LACQUER AND VERY THIN IRIDESCENT PEARL SHELL. FLORAL DESIGN AROUND THE WIDE CENTRAL SECTION AND AROUND THE UPPER NECK SECTION ARE A SERIES OF ONE INCH SQUARES OF THREE SEPARATE FLORAL AND GEOMETRIC DESIGNS. ON THE VERY TOP EDGE IN GOLD LACQUER IS A ROW OF GREEK KEY DESIGNS. THREE FEET ARE FASTENED NEAR THE OUTER EDGES OF THE CYLINDER. THESE FEET WERE GLUED ONTO A MODIFIED TRIANGULAR FLAT PIECE OF NATURAL FINISH WOOD. (BASE) THERE IS A THIN COPPER LINER-CAN TO FIT INTO THE LACQUERED WOOD CYLINDER. REFER: "THE FIRST JAPANESE EMBASSY IN AMERICA", (IN JAPANESE), TOKYO, 1920. UNPAGINATED BOOK, IN A PLATE ABOUT 2/3 FROM THE FRONT OF THE BOOK THIS IS SHOWN AS THE LEFT HAND OBJECT IN THE LOWER ROW OF THE LOWER PICTURE ON A PLATE." IDENTIFIED AS FIRST JAPANESE MISSION ARTIFACT BY CHANG-SU HOUCHINS, ASIAN ETHNOLOGY SPECIALIST 5-10-85
This brazier appears to be the one on lower left in engraving shown on p. 252, bottom, in Norton, Frank H., and Frank Leslie. 1877. Frank Leslie's historical register of the United States Centennial Exposition, 1876. Embellished with nearly eight hundred illustrations drawn expressly for this work by the most eminent artists in America. Including illustrations and descriptions of all previous International exhibitions. New York: Frank Leslie's Pub. House.
Note that the braziers (E322, E323, and E324) all include the Chrysanthemum Seal, the crest (mon) of the Emperor and Imperial Family. Visitors to the collection in 2018, descendants of the Shogun and First Japanese Mission, were puzzled that this seal should appear on a diplomatic gift from the Shogun. At the time, (1860) the Shogun and the Emperor were competing for power at home, but the Shogun was in charge of foreign relations.
Record Last Modified:
14 Nov 2018
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Accession Number:
60A00001
USNM Number:
E324-0
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmnhanthropology_8393632