JAPANESE ANTIQUE Chests
Straddling a line between furniture and folk art, tansu is the term given to the antique cabinetry of Japan dating from 1700, with the best examples made between 1860 and 1910, the bulk of the Meiji period. Developed from the Japanese need for storage that would not clutter their small living spaces, most tansu are portable chests made to be kept in storage lofts or kuras (fireproof storehouses). A dramatic combination of utility and beauty, each piece carries a unique history. Its careful construction conveys its region of origin, intended use, owner's status, wealth, and often profession.