Small Akoda Incense Burner with Scattered Crests in Makie

Place of production
Era century
Momoyama Period
Length 5.5 cm Width 5.5 cm
Kyoto National Museum
Because this incense burner resembles an <i>akoda</i> melon, it is referred to as ""akoda"" or ""melon-shaped."" It is quite fetching in that it is small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, smaller than usual. It is decorated in the techniques of low relief <i>makie</i> (J., <i>hiramakie</i>) and of incising a design, called ""needle drawing"" (J., <i>harigaki</i>) on a ""pear-skin"" ground (J., <i>nashiji</i>). Arranged on this ground are scattered crests of cherry blossoms, pinks, mandarin oranges, chrysanthemums, bamboo grass, and flowers with lozenge-shaped petals, which are not actual family crests but designs popular at the beginning of the Edo period (1615-1868). The lining of the incense burner and the basket-weave cover are made of pierced bronze.

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