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Chest of Drawers

Decorative Arts

On View: American Identities: A New Look, Expanding Horizons, 5th Floor

Although a Western form, this chest of drawers is decorated with Asian materials, bamboo and cane. At the 1876 Centennial exhibition in Philadelphia, Japan showed furniture made of these materials, and American merchants subsequently imported or made here in Brooklyn, but it is evocative indicator of the appeal of Japanism to the American market and the melding of Western and Eastern cultures.

MEDIUM Woven cane, bamboo, brass, mirror
DATES ca. 1905-1915
DIMENSIONS 78 x 37 1/2 x 18 in. (198.1 x 95.3 x 45.7 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Printed cardboard label nailed to back: "NIMURA & SATO CO., / Japanese Bamboo Works, / Parlor, Bed Room and Hall Sets / All kinds of Fancy Works made to order, and / Japanese Crockery and Fancy Goods / Everything Guaranteed to be First Class and of the latest style / at Lowest Price, / No. 707 Fulton Street / Brooklyn, N.Y."
SIGNATURE no signature
INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Expanding Horizons, 5th Floor
CREDIT LINE Gift of Herbert Hemphill
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CAPTION Nimura & Sato Co.. Chest of Drawers, ca. 1905-1915. Woven cane, bamboo, brass, mirror, 78 x 37 1/2 x 18 in. (198.1 x 95.3 x 45.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Herbert Hemphill, 68.47.1. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 68.47.1_bw_IMLS.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 7/30/1968
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION High-backed chest of drawers, in Japanese "bamboo" style; surface covered in woven cane and edges in bamboo. Secondary woods are eastern white pine and tulip-poplar. Chest part has three drawers, graduated in size, covered with woven cane edged in bamboo, and with decorated bamboo ribbon work in center. Cast brass bail pulls with stamped brass escutcheons on either side. Back panel has corner shelves at each side, near base, attached between back and scrolled bamboo sidepieces. Diamond shaped mirror in between; above are two rectangular openings for prints. At top is narrow shelf with openwork bamboo gallery at back. Condition: fair, some bamboo and cane missing. Cane panels on piece ragged at edges; bulging in spots. Right rear caster missing.
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