Tamakaji Zokoku (1806-1869) - tsuishu lacquer seal box
Kagawa, circa 1850
A two-coloured tsuishu lacquer seal box carved as a manju netsuke. A large black lacquer peony bloom dominates the upper side and a further bloom and foliage continue on the underside, set against a stylised repeating wave ground. The interior with a square storage section for the seal is lacquered in black. The cord threads through the body of both halves, emerging through a central hole in the underside.
The production of lacquerware in Kagawa (Shikoku) was encouraged by daimyo, Yorishige Matsudaira (1622-1695) and many artisans took up residence the area. Zokoku Tamakaji was born in Takamatsu in 1806, but at the age of 20 he moved to Kyoto to study with various painters and lacquerers and had the opportunity to research Chinese lacquer techniques, then bringing his knowledge to Kagawa and helping to seal its reputation as a major lacquerware producing area.