Antiques, 10-25-08, Shosoin show.

The 60th. annual show at the Nara National Museum is currently on. It is a showing of objects from “warehouses” of the Todaiji temple. You can read all you want here, and

I have to be truthful. I have never been to see the show. This show defines blockbuster show with the 2 hour waits and the cattle call like movement through the galleries. I am going to try to make it this year.

You can see the English announcement for the show here,

The pictures that follow are of the most extraordinary piece I have seen so far, that is that I have been able to hold. It is a box that should hold incense, the kind that would be used during the tea ceremony. The inlay, that is the deer scene portion dates from the Nara Period,

I am unsure if the box actually dates from that period, from the looks of it I would think not. I have seen similar pieces of inlay work but all the ones I have seen have been fragments. The inlay in this box is intact, perfect condition. It is made from a kind of shell, maybe abalone. The inside is a type of lacquer ware. Of special note is the quality of the lettering on the inside of the box, the lettering done in black ink.


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