Decorating with a Shibayama box

Boxes are always great general accessories for any desk, bookcase or table.  Because they come in all sizes, they are easy to combine with other objects like books or vases AND for the hoarders out there, they actually help hide clutter!!!

Today’s feature is a Japanese Shibayama box of the late Meiji period (circa 1880).  Shibayama references the technique of inlaying pieces of mother-of-pearl, ivory and colored stones in relief to decorate a piece.  The Japanese are so detailed; each peony and chrysanthemum blossom is individually carved and then set into the decoration so close to the next that it creates a seamless cascade of flowers over the top and sides of the box.  While I RARELY go for anything Victorian, I love the 3 dimensional decoration of this box whose décor also works well in a minimalist modern space where it, and only it, becomes the belle of the ball.

 

image credit: Lyon & Turnbull

 
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