Excellent tea caddy (natsume) made by the 7th Ippyōsai, Ippyō Eizō (*1942). The exterior is finished in polished jet-black lacquer (roiro) and decorated in gold maki-e with an all-over pattern of maple leaves and cherry blossoms. The cherry blossoms are either in gold or red lacquer, while the maple leaves are executed in gold maki-e with fine veins. Some of the leaves seem to have a slight greenish shine and are possibly made of a material called aokin, an alloy of gold and silver. The interior and the base are silver coated. Rims are in gold lacquer.
Ippyō Eizō has been the 7th generation of one of the leading lacquer master families in Kyōto. He has studied under his father, Ippyōsai VI (1908-2001), and Shimizuya Kōmin. Ippyōsai VII is especially known for his excellent skills in creating complex compositions on the three-dimensional space of a natsume tea caddy. His workshop is currently run by the 8th Ippyōsai, his daughter Ippyō Ryō.
The wooden box, made of paulownia wood (kiri), is signed underneath: Makie-shi Ippyōsai and sealed Ippyōsai. Inside the box's lid is an appraisal by the 15th grandmaster of the Urasenke tea ceremony school, Hōunsai (*1923): Unkin hira-natsume, Konichi. He also wrote his kaō in red lacquer in the inside of the tea caddy's lid.