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Kuruma-Dansu (Chest of Drawers)

Asian Art

Japanese merchants considered the easily moveable kuruma dansu, which kept valuables and merchandise in order the storehouse, an essential possession. The chests were often included as part of a daughter's dowry. The kuruma dansu displayed here, crafted in Yamagata Prefecture, is of exceptionally high quality. The frame and door panels are zelkova wood, the finest wood used in Japanese furniture construction. The entire chest is finished in a kijiri lacquer to accentuate the wood's naturally elegant grain.

MEDIUM Zelkova (keyaki) and cryptomeria (sugi) wood with iron fittings
DATES late 19th–early 20th century
PERIOD Meiji Period
DIMENSIONS 37 1/8 x 44 1/8 x 21 3/8 in. (94.3 x 112.1 x 54.3 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Designated Purchase Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Large wood chest on four on four wood wheels. Enclosed on three sides with two sliding door panels on the front. Top surface consists of several panels. Decoration consists of horizontal wood slats applied to surface of all four sides, and door panels. Iron joint fittings and lock are made in Yonezawa/Yamagata style. Condition: very good. Small surface scratches and wear on top. Part of all of wood door panels may be replacements.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Kuruma-Dansu (Chest of Drawers), late 19th–early 20th century. Zelkova (keyaki) and cryptomeria (sugi) wood with iron fittings, 37 1/8 x 44 1/8 x 21 3/8 in. (94.3 x 112.1 x 54.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Designated Purchase Fund, 75.126. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 75.126_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 75.126_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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