A stunning flat tea caddy (hira-natsume) made in the Meiji period (1868-1912) around 1900. The wood body is finished in polished gold-powdered lacquer (fundame) and decorated with a flock of flying cranes (tsuru) and reed (ashi) , painted in gold takamaki-e and sprinkled in silver and red lacquer to highlight the colors of the bird's feathers. Lower part with reed is sprinkled with gold powder and additionally highlighted with some delicate inlaids of mother-of-pearl and cut leaf gold (kiri-gane). The interior and the base are finished with springled gold flakes, rims painted in gold lacquer.
Box with inscription fundame ashi tsuru maki-e hira-natsume 粉溜芦鶴蒔絵平棗 ("Flat gold-powdered maki-e tea caddy with cranes and reed").