Japanese Iron Bound Sea Chest

c. 1800
$3,380 USD SOLD
W: 12.5" D: 17.5" H: 14.25"
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This fantastic iron-bound lock box is a 19th-century Japanese sea chest known as kakesuzuri. Used on merchant vessels traveling the Japanese trade route known as Kitamae, sea chests were built to withstand bad weather and tumultuous currents, almost exclusively crafted of dense hardwoods and strong iron reinforcements. Typically owned by captains and ship-owners, sea chests were used to display elevated social status in addition to protecting personal belongings.

This small, Edo-period kakesuzuri sea chest is expertly crafted of pine with a rectangular body and a front-facing door with five side hinges, cross reinforcements, and a large ornate lock plate. The door opens to reveal six interior drawers, two with additional locking hardware. The exterior is richly aged with a beautiful, dark patina that calls to be touched.

Deaccessioned from the MacLean Collection of Asian Art.

Door key included.

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