Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art

A Japanese Round Covered Box with Carp Finial – Meiji

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Directory: Hidden: Viewable: Pre 1910: Item # 949596

Please refer to our stock # 49 when inquiring.
This is a handsome round covered box – kogo – with an unusual, and quite lovely, matte green glaze. The lid of the box has a curling carp as its finial. The box measures 3 ½” diameter at the top and is 3 ½” high to the top of the finial. We date it to the mid Meiji period, circa 1880s –1900. It is in excellent condition. On the base another carp is seen as a signature made with the same matte green glaze.

The carp is the symbol of youth, bravery, perseverance, strength, and self-defense in Japan and Korea. According to Japanese mythology, there lives a big carp, nine feet long, in Lake Biwa and which devours people who drown there. On May 5 the Festival of Boys is celebrated. In this festival the carp is the most prominent ornament, and is hung on trees and walls. The carp is also an emblem of the Samurai as symbols of courage and dignity. It also symbolizes endurance and good fortune.