Mazarin Chest decoration techniques: raden, hyomon and kanagai - 加飾技法:螺鈿、平文、金貝

Mazarin Chest decoration techniques: raden, hyomon and kanagai - 加飾技法:螺鈿、平文、金貝

The borders on the front, sides and lid exterior of the Mazarin Chest consist of maki-e decoration combined with mother-of-pearl (raden) and metal foil (hyomon and kanagai) inlay. Mother-of-pearl has been used for the floral roundels in the wide, central band and along its two edges. Hyomon, which refers to the application of thick foil, has been used for the wheel roundels in the central band and for the zigzag band below, in both cases executed in silver. Kanagai refers to the application of thin foil such as that used for the chequered gold banding above.

マザラン・チェストの正面、側面、蓋表の界線(ボーダー)には、蒔絵と、螺鈿と金属の薄板(平文と金貝)とが組合わせて使われています。螺鈿は、幅の広い中央の帯の唐草文、そしてその両側にあしらわれています。平文は厚い金属の薄板を貼り付ける技法で、銀の平文が中央の帯の車輪文と、その下の紗綾形文の帯に使われています。金貝は上の帯の金の石畳文に見られるような、薄い金属の薄板を貼り付ける技法です。

Metal foil inlay usually involves the cutting to shape of metal foil prior to its application to a flat lacquer surface. This technique was used for the wheel roundels of the central band. For the geometric gold and silver bands above and below, however, a novel technique with no known precedent was employed. Probably in order to speed up the manufacturing process, uncut strips of gold and silver were applied to the surface and, before the adhesive had fully hardened, the patterns were cut out using a knife and a ruler.

平文、金貝は金属の薄板を文様に切り取って平らな漆面に貼り付ける技法で、中央の帯の車輪文に使われています。この上下にある金と銀の幾何学文は技法的に前例のないもので、金や銀の板を表面に貼り付け、接着剤がすっかり乾く前に、刃物と定規を使って文様を切り抜くという新技法です。作業時間の短縮のために使われたと思われます。