Wednesday, June 6, 2012


The pictures shown above give a very graphic view of what my Samurai Footed Armour Box looked like when I purchase it a couple of weeks ago and when I first posted about my newest adventure in finding and restoring beautiful antique objects. I had the suspicion that the white staining to the lacquer would clean up perfectly, but I really didn't think it would turn out as beautifully as it has.

I'm going to show a few "in process photos"---

Roberto very carefully cleaned the lacquer and buffed the chased brass detailing of the lid. When working with any type of restoration incredible care must be taken to maintain as much integrity of the original surface as possible--as you can see, Roberto has the perfect touch. Next came the much more difficult work of cleaning off "the white stuff" without damaging the original lacquer surface.  This is the result of several hours of careful work: 

Here you can see where Roberto has carefully removed an old restoration so that he can reposition the leg that has separated, reattaching the leg in the correct fashion. When carrying out any restoration it is super important to remove any prior restoration work, glue, paint, etc. so that the new restoration can be perfectly fitted to the original work.

Preliminary cleaning of lacquer

Buffing of lacquer and brass hoofed leg

As you can see from the clamps, the box is in the final restoration stages: it has been carefully cleaned, buffed and a very fine touch of hard paste wax has been applied to the lacquer to seal it and preserve it from the So. California low humidity. It is almost ready....the clamps will come off tomorrow (which was today). The next group of photos shows my new baby all set and ready to go.

(There is a flaw to the image--there isn't any damage to the lacquer lid)

When I had inspected this piece carefully, I noted that there were three small strips of chased brass detailing that were missing from the edge of the lid and one of the hoofed feet had lost its bottom brass plate. These would be considered to be only minor condition issues.  WHEN ROBERTO EMPTIED THE BOX, ALL THREE ORIGINAL BRASS STRIPS AND THE BOTTOM BRASS PLATE WERE SAFELY INSIDE THE BOX. Some one had truly loved this object and had taken care that all of its elements remained with the box. 

To find an Edo Period Lacquer Armour Box in this condition and conserving all of its original elements (with the exception of the silk cord) is a wonderful gift. Hopefully, just the right person will show up and will love this box as much as its previous owners.

Thanks for joining me --Jones is getting his hair done on Saturday.
Have a great week-end.

Mary and Jones (and Cole)


  1. Mary this is a truly wonderful work of art. The detail is exquisite and restoring the piece has returned it to its original lustrous state!

    Art by Karena

    1. Hi Karena, I value your artist's eye. Japanese lacquer embodies artistic expression on so many different levels--even the hand chasing to the brass work is exceptional on this piece. Have a super day. Mary