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Antique Victorian Wooden Stationery Box with Japanese Shibayama Decoration c1880 (Code 2165)

  • £32500


An interesting late Victorian period stationery or writing box with shibayama decoration. It is of sloped front form with twin doors opening to reveal divisions with cyma cut detail and a slot for a note pad to the underside of one door. There is also a small inkwell and a pen tray internally. Beneath the main body is a drawer which is held shut by a latch pin if the doors are closed above. The main doors have a brass cabinet lock which still functions.

Perhaps the most interesting part is the shibayama and painted decoration with a bird, flowers and a dragonfly. The decorative detail is of course Japanese style, however the cabinet appears very English and as such I suspect this is an English example using the Japanese techniques for decoration. The Japanese style was very popular during the late 19th century with the Aesthetic Movement, so it is likely an English maker capitalised on this by incorporating Japanese decorative features onto an existing English design. The construction style of the box would seem to preclude a Japanese made example for the European market. Whichever the origin it is certainly a charming piece.


Some wear and ageing as expected for period. Rubbing of some of the gilt and paint, and paint loss and fading to the raised shibayama as can be seen. Hinges fine, lock is functional. Lovely deep honey tone to the French polish finish.

Measurements (Approx)

Height: 27.8 cm (11 inches)

Width: 29.2 cm (11 1/2 inches)

Depth: 17 cm (6 3/4 inches)

Weight: 2650 grams (before packing).

Stock Code: 2165 JU20-4



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