Bowdoin College Homepage
Bowdoin College Museum of Art Logo and Wordmark

Advanced Search
Preview image of work. wood, gold & silver maki-e and inlay on lacquer ground,  Suzuri-bako (writing case) 1828

Recommend keywords

Help us make our collections more accessible by providing keywords to describe this artwork. The BCMA uses the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus to provide consistent keywords. Enter a keyword in the field below and you will be prompted with a list of possible matching AAT preferred terms.


Suzuri-bako (writing case)

Export record as: Plain text | JSON | CDWA-Lite | VRA Core 4


Ogata Korin


Suzuri-bako (writing case)

Creation Date



17th-19th century

Object Type


Creation Place

Asia, Japan

Medium and Support

wood, gold & silver maki-e and inlay on lacquer ground

Credit Line

Gift of Helen W. Merrill (Mrs. Earle A., Class of 1889)


Public Domain

Accession Number


This Japanese writing case comprises a brush compartment, a stone for grinding and mixing ink, and a small pot for water. During the Edo Period (1603–1867), most literate persons in Japan owned a writing case, though the quality of the craftsmanship would vary according to the socioeconomic standing of the owner. Ogata Korin, one of the most prominent artists of his day, designed the box. The fabrication would have been left to lacquer craftsmen who were highly skilled in the time-consuming application of numerous coats of thinly applied tree sap. The “sprinkled design,” or maki-e, seen in between the folds of the stream, is made by embedding flakes of gold and silver leaf into a still-wet layer of lacquer.

Object Description

See attached pdf article (under surrogate list) "From the Suntory Museum of Art-Autumn Grasses and Water-Motifs in Japanese Art". A good reference for writing box

Additional Media

Additional Image overall
Additional Image detail, inside
detail, inside
Additional Image detail
Additional Image detail
Additional Image detail
Additional Image exterior, top
exterior, top
Additional Image exterior, top, detail
exterior, top, detail