Suzuribako - Koami Choko

A Japanese lacquer suzuribako (writing box)

A Japanese lacquer suzuribako (writing box), the cover decorated in unusually high takamakie (relief lacquering) with a hawk attacking a sparrow, the eyes of both inlaid in glass; around them, clematis grows over a relief river bank, set with kirigane texturing, the meandering stream represented in togidashi. The interior is by contrast lacquered in a fine silver on gold makie with an egret taking flight against a luxuriantly sprinkled nashiji ground. The egret’s visible eye is also glass-inlaid. The simple waterdropper carries a brief, punning relief inscription, “koujitsu, nichi-nichi, shin-shin”, literally “momentary / day, day / day, new / new wich may be translated: “Every day is transient, every day is new and fresh”.

Signed: Koami Choko, with kao.

Edo, circa 1780

Length: 9 9/16 in., 24.3 cm. 
Width: 8 3/4 in., 22.2 cm.
Depth (excluding relief): 1 3/4 in., 4.5 cm.