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Subject:Is this a Japanese Kaidan-dansu / Tansu chest?
Posted By: Nancy Fri, Jan 05, 2018 IP:

Is this a Japanese Kaidan-dansu / Tansu chest? It is handmade wood box. Unique brass butterfly lock with keyhole cover. Long key with catch-and-pull to lock and unlock.
Inside: Compartments including a hidden drawer. Dovetail fitting.
It does NOT have slide marks to indicate it was a drawer or fit into another piece.
The top does not hinge - It is intended to be removed when in use.
Approximately: 13.75 in X 10 in
Q's- What kind of wood? Is there a special purpose? Age: 1900s or?
I'd love your feedback!

Subject:Re: Is this a Japanese Kaidan-dansu / Tansu chest?
Posted By: sue Sat, Jan 06, 2018

This is not a kaidan dansu. A real kaidan dansu is a large piece of furniture. A kaidan dansu was used as a staircase that incorporated storage in the form of drawers and cupboards into its outer side. As such, it has to be at least 7ft tall ,other wise it is too short to reach the next floor.
Looking at the style of the metal work your box appears to be Korean. These fittings are not Japanese.
Japanese chests are usually not dovetailed. They normally have simple lap joints held together with wooden pins.
The wood of your box looks like zelkova ...asian elm.
Regards Sue | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |