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11. Rare is an authentic antique Japanese kaidan-dansu (step stair tansu), as they were custom made to fit existing architecture and would require the disassembling of a household for them to become available. Traditionally they served as stairs to a loft above a kitchen where supplies such as bales of rice or sake casks would be stored. Characteristic of such kaidan-dansu is a patina developed from the presence of smoky kitchen fires. This fine 7 step example has nine drawers of various sizes for storage, as well as a ribbed hinged cabinet. Drawers have elaborate hand wrought iron Jomaé (lock plates) and hiruté style drawer pulls. Hinoki wood. Circa 1870.

Measuring 81 ¾” high by 64 ½” wide by 29 ¾” deep.

 

         
         
 
 

12. An antique Japanese Nihonmatsu chest with pierced hand wrought repoussé jōmae (lock plates), kobiraki-do (iron clad door to a small safe) and bo (removable travel bar). The subjects of the extensive and highly refined iron work are auspicious symbols: sacred crane and tortoise (wisdom and longevity), and plum blossoms (endurance). In addition, the bo depicts the Kuginuki Mon, the heraldic crest of the family for whom the chests were made. Nihonmatsu is a small town lying southeast of Fukushima prefecture’s lacquer center, Aizu-wakamatsu. Characteristic of the chests made there is the suri-urushi, wiped lacquer finish of the cryptomeria casing and the tame-nuri, opaque lacquer finish of the zelkova wood drawer front. The sides of the chest are mounted with both mochiokuri (side carrying handles) and sao-toshi (suspending handles for the porter poles. Circa 1860.

Measuring 41 ¾” high by 34” wide by 16 ½” deep.

 

         
         
 
 

13. An antique Japanese miniature Nihonmatsu chest with pierced hand wrought repoussé jōmae (lock plates), kobiraki-do (iron clad door to a small safe) and bo (removal travel bar). The jōmae of the bottom drawer is decorated with highly stylized kiku (chrysanthemum) and karabana (Chinese flower) blossoms, and the bo with a kikyō (Chinese bellflower) blossom, traditionally inspired by the Mon (heraldic crest) of the family lineage from whom it was made. Original mochiokuri (side carrying handles) and drawer pulls of warabité form). Nihonmatsu is a small town lying southeast of Fukushima prefecture’s lacquer center, Aizu-wakamatsu. Characteristic of the chests made there is the suri-urushi, wiped lacquer finish of the cryptomeria casing and tame-nuri, opaque lacquer finish of the zelkova wood drawer front. Meiji period.

Measuring 24 ¾” high by 23 ½” wide by 12 ¾” deep.

 

         
         
 
 

14. A large Japanese kuruma dansu (wheel chest). Such chests were created to wheel the family's most treasured possessions away from the house during earthquakes and the subsequent fires that followed. Streets would become gridlocked with kuruma dansu during a fire and lives were lost because people would not abandon them. The use of such chests was strictly forbidden by Imperial decree by the 19th Century. 18th Century. Zelkova wood with iron mounts.

Measuring 38 ¾" high by 56" wide by 29" deep.

 

         
         
 
 

15. A very handsome antique Japanese kasané dansu (double stacking chest) with heavy hand wrought iron fittings and a fuku-urushi finish, the traditional lacquer seal used by cabinetmakers to preserve the wood. The jomae (lockplates) bear the Sakura Mon (heraldic crest), the configuration of which was adopted by the Oguri samurai clan who would have commissioned these chests. The hikité (drawer pulls) are in the Mokko form with handle plates 'toshi-zogané' in the form of three stylized pine tree boughs, a symbol of strength and endurance. An attractive iron clad 'kobiraki-do' or small safe further enhances this most appealing tansu. Original sao-toshi or pole handles are at the sides of each chest. Circa 1880.

Measuring 25" or 44" (when stacked) high by 41 ½" wide by 17 ¼" deep, including custom pedestals.

 

         
         
 
 

16. An antique Japanese miniature tansu of beautifully grained zelkova wood with fuku-urushi lacquer finish that seals and protects the wood. This handsome tansu is detailed in original hand wrought bronze fittings with shibuichi finish; herikanagu (edge hardware), mochiokuri (side carrying handles) and hiruté form drawer pulls. It has a diversity of drawers and a kobiraki-do (small safe), together with a bo or removable travel bar. Meiji period.

Measuring 15 ¼” high by 20 ¼” wide by 11 ½” deep.

 

         
         
 
 

17. An antique Mizuya-dansu (kitchen cabinet) that is of an unusual and pleasingly smaller scale than most we've seen. Intended for the storage of kitchen implements, it is characteristic in its construction with plank wood mitered frame members to form the exterior structure that is cross-bracketed and secured by transverse side ribs. The storage provided is generous and practical with an eye level double sliding door compartment above an open cantilevered shelf. Below this are two ample drawers on the left and three smaller drawers for chopsticks and tending implements. Toward the base is the largest sliding door cabinet, each of these panels are equipped with recessed bronze pulls on both sides for easy access. Then the bottom finishes with two larger drawers. Original hand-wrought iron drawer pulls. Meiji Period (1867-1912).

Measuring 66" high by 37" wide by 16" deep.

 

         
         
 
 

18. An antique Japanese Sendai or clothing chest, the style referred to as Isho Yaru-dansu. This handsome chest has a fuku-urushi lacquer finish that seals and protects the wood and beautifully forged hand wrought iron work. Each of the six drawers are fitted with Hiruté style drawer pulls, sumikanagu (drawer corners) and the four larger drawers have stylized foliate Jomae (lock plates). The Kobiraki-do or small safe is beautifully clad in iron obikanagu (sash fittings), choban (hinges) and jomae. To either side are the original mochiokuri - side carrying handles and sao-toshi or hinged pole carrying handles. Meiji Period, circa 1880's.

Measuring 41 ½" high by 48 ½" wide by 17 ½" deep, including custom pedestal.

 

         
         
 
 

19. An antique Japanese double-stacking Chadansu or Tea Ceremony Cabinet with beautiful zelkova wood door and drawer fronts. The interior has a contrasting sliding double door section with silk brocade panels above a silver foil glass display to the right, and an attractive floating shelf before a graphic latticework over silver to the left. The placement of the variety of drawers and cabinets creates an overall composition that is very aesthetically pleasing. Chadansu were commissioned chests where the cabinetmaker responded to the specific needs of the patron to house their collection of art objects and implements associated with the tea ceremony. As specialists in antique far eastern art for over 40 years, we have yet to see any two Chadansu that were exactly alike. Meiji Period (1867-1912). Original bronze fittings.

Measuring 65 ¾" high by 36 ½" wide by 14 ½" deep.

 

         
         
 
 

20. A most unusual antique Japanese tansu with elegant silk door panels in celadon hues. The top sliding doors depict an incense burner with tending spade, tongs, kogo, and writing box draped in silk, next to a panel of billowing kimono draped across a lacquer rack. Below are cantilevered open shelves above silk panel sliding doors and an inset drawer. To the right is a removable door with a bronze fitting in the form of Daikoku's (Shinto God of Wealth) Bag, a symbol of prosperity, above a small drawer. Across the bottom are three equal-sized larger drawers. All original bronze mounts. Meiji Period (1867-1912).

Measuring 29 ¾" high by 35" wide by 15 ½" deep.