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Wooden box, Japan, date unknown

Made of wood, this Japanese box is painted and covered in shiny lacquer (a kind of varnish). Its lid is decorated with flowers, leaves and a bird. Boxes like this were made in large numbers for people to keep their treasures in: trinkets, jewellery, or any other private items they wanted to keep safe.

Did you know?

Sap from the lacquer tree of Asia makes a coating that dries hard and shiny.

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