#4177 Large ship's safe (funa-dansu). 15.5"w x 17"h x 19"d. Cabinet sides, top, and door all .75" thick keyaki wood; back, bottom and interior cabinet are cypress; bottom also .75" thick. Note heavy joinery on top edges.
Safe door with heavy iron lock, and ornate ironwork typical of the northeast Japan Sea coast area, possibly Niigata. Overlapping lip of lock missing. There is no key, but the lock is disarmed and works as a latch for the door. Cabinet also has heavy iron corners, heavy front edge strapping, and heavy iron handle on top. The top hinge is broken, but the other four large hinges hold the door very well. All the metal on the door, cabinet, and drawers, except for around the base, is original.
There are five drawers inside, all 100% kiri wood, with hand wrought square handles, all in excellent condition. The one inside lock doesn't work. There is identifying calligraphy on bottom of the top drawer and on the bottom of cabinet. Smallest drawer made for an ink stone. Secret compartment behind the two smallest drawers.
Cabinet bottom base replaced with mismatched pieces, but attached solid. Some of the bottom base metal pieces replaced. The left vertical corner edge on the back is a replaced piece. There are some distressed areas on the back, and on the sides at the bottom, as but the cabinet is very sturdy overall. The crack in the door, visible from the back, is natural wood checking with age. The door is very solid; no wood movement. The old original finish is darkened with age, somewhat worn, but beautiful and engaging. A really great old piece. C.1810 . . . $1200