Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Writing box depicting a tiger on the lid, with a dragon and wave pattern inside

Glossary (7)

hiramaki-e, lacquer, maki-e, nashiji, takamaki-e, togidashi, togidashi maki-e

  • hiramaki-e

    (‘flat sprinkled design’) coloured or metal powders sprinkled onto a wet lacquer ground and usually covered with a protective layer of lacquer

  • lacquer

    Chinese and Japanese lacquer is made from the sap of the lacquer tree, which is indigenous to Eastern China. It is applied to wood as a varnish or for decorative effect. In India and the Middle East, lacquer is made from the deposit of the lac insect.

  • maki-e

    (‘sprinkled design’) generic term for lacquer decoration using powdered metals sprinkled onto wet lacquer to create a design

  • nashiji

    (‘pear skin ground’) tiny, irregularly shaped flakes of gold embedded in amber coloured wet lacquer and then polished to a fine sheen

  • takamaki-e

    (high relief sprinkled design’) makie technique in which parts of the design are built up with lacquer mixed with charcoal or clay dust

  • togidashi

    Technique in which the design in metal powders sprinkled over damp lacquer, is permitted to harden, then entirely covered with lacquer and finally after hardening, polished with abrasives to re-expose the design.

  • togidashi maki-e

    (‘sprinkled designs revealed by polishing’) a type of makie in which the sprinkled design is covered with lacquer that is then polished away so that the design reappears flush with the surface


    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


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