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Japanese Shōwa Era Mulberry Haribako Sewing Box, Circa 1930

Item Details

Type Sewing Box
Period Early to Mid 20th Century, Vintage
Origin Japan
Additional Information Mulberry on the exterior and paulownia wood interior; "This is an early Showa vintage (1930) haribako (sewing box) with a unique arrangement of five drawers and an additional 6th section under the lidded top. When this 6th drawer is removed it reveals a secret 7th drawer. There is a finger hole used to access this secret section. This type of tansu chest was used to store valuables as well as equipment for the person of the house to do repairs on Kimono and bedding as well as money and valuables. The lidded top section divides into three areas: a lift out pin cushion tray, and the far right was used to store a pop up ""third hand"" which was used to hold a piece of cloth so as to make use of both hands….Very unusual and convenient! Additionally, this lidded top box and the secret 7th drawer face are made of keyaki (zelkova) wood. This haribako has a fine-grained mulberry burl exterior with kiri (paulownia) wood drawer interiors. This chest shows a high degree of craftsmanship as it has been constructed with overlap joint and wooden pegs.


- nicks, scratches, and abrasions throughout; top lid does not close; lower portion is significantly broken, notably to the lower left; chipping and stains throughout; accretions to the crevices.


13.0" W x 10.25" H x 7.75" D

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