It was the Portuguese who are reputed to have first introduced tobacco to Japan sometime in the 16th century.
Within just a few decades it had been quickly adopted even though government officials had passed edicts to restrict its use.
Despite this, tobacco popularity spread and with it, the creation of up market and often, highly decorative accessories such as the Kiseru pipe and Tabako-Bon or tobacco tray/box which quickly became status symbols.
This is a wooden, lacquered Tabako-Bon from the turn of the century, featuring small inlaid pieces across its top with gold blossom motifs around its rounded sides.
Around the Tabako-Bon’s outside edge are two, fold up carrying arms with a small copper hibachi, which was used to store hot coals for the lighting of pipes or cigarettes. The little bamboo vase would hold a small amount of water, and was used for extinguishing and storage of spent ashes.
10cm high x 17cm dia and made from high-class Kiri (Paulownia wood) the Tabako-Bon takes the popular rounded shape of a pumpkin.
Aged and obviously well used, this is a beautiful piece of Japanese vintage craftsmanship and would make a great conversation piece resting on a table or hallway shelf.
This Tabako-Bon also comes complete with a beautiful vintage brass (shinchu) and bamboo, Crane decorated Kiseru pipe (see inset)
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