22 Apr 2021
June 5, 2019 - Filed under: Auctions — Richard

A 12-inch lacquer casket with an estimated value of £200 to £300 has been sold at auction for £40,000 after bidders spotted that the casket dated from the Japanese Edo period.

The Edo period was between 1603 and 1868. It was a time of peace when arts and culture flourished. It was also a period of semi-isolation, when few items of art and furniture were exported. There was an extremely limited international trade in art during the period and the casket was one of the few examples of those that were exported, which makes it very rare.

The casket is decorated in gold images against a black background that depicts pavilions, landscapes, flowers and grass. It has copper gilt fittings and is mounted on four feet. There is a secret drawer which is accessed by sliding a panel on one side of the box.

The Edo casket is in very good condition for its age and date. It sold well over the top estimate of £300. The buyer at the auction, which was held in Stansted, is based in Hong Kong and bid over the internet. On top of the cost of the buyer’s top bid of £40,000, they had to pay a 23% buyer’s premium.

It is highly unlikely that you will find a Japanese casket worth tens of thousands of pounds at Lancashire antique shops. For considerably less, you can find excellent examples of antique cabinets that can be used to store your belongings and enhance the look of your room.

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