Inkstone box, with scene from The Tale of Genji, Chapter 10

Historical period(s)
Edo period, 17th century
Lacquer on wood with gold and silver inlay; gilt silver; stone (<i>maki-e</i>)
H x W x D: 4.2 x 16.9 x 18.4 cm (1 5/8 x 6 5/8 x 7 1/4 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — funds provided by the bequest of Edith Ehrman
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Container, Lacquer

Inkstone box

autumn, boat, carriage, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, pine tree, The Tale of Genji, WWII-era provenance

T. B. Kitson [1]

Charles A. Greenfield, New York acquired from T.B. Kitson [2]

To 1991
Eskenazi Ltd., London, to 1991

From 1991
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Eskenazi Ltd., London in 1991


[1] According to Curatorial Note 4, Ann Yonemura, December 24, 1991, in object record

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles A. Greenfield
T. B. Kitson
Eskenazi Ltd. Founded 1923


A profound sense of isolation pervades the scene of a nobleman's carriage resting in a field of grass. This scene and the interior motifs of a shoreline come from an episode in The Tale of Genji. Thick foils of gold and silver accentuate the gold and silver powders used in this design. An inkstone, trays for brushes and inksticks, and a water-dropper in the form of a boat are fitted inside the box.

Published References
  • Harold P. Stern. The Magnificent Three: Lacquer, Netsuke, and Tsube: Selections from the Collection of Charles A. Greenfield. Exh. cat. New York. .
  • Andrew J. Pikarik. Japanese Lacquer, 1600-1900: Selections from the Charles A. Greenfield Collection. Exh. cat. New York. .
  • Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. p. 152.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum

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