Nobelman's meal table
Momoyama period 桃山時代 1585 Japan
lacquer on wood (Negoro lacquer 根来塗)
Purchased with funds donated by Mr S. Baillieu Myer AC and Sarah Myer, 2014
Negoro refers to simple and elegant red lacquer objects produced during Japan’s medieval period, between the twelfth and seventeenth centuries. Embodying the ancient sense of Japanese beauty, the minimalistic forms of Negoro lacquer ware were primarily intended to be functional objects and are void of elaborate decoration. The supple shapes and naturally worn patina of red and black lacquered layers give Negoro an ambience of antiquity and sophistication that has made them treasured objects throughout the ages. Since the early twentieth century they have become highly appreciated by modern-day connoisseurs as objects of outstanding design and utilitarian beauty.
This special display of Negoro lacquer celebrates the shared passion of Mr S. Baillieu Myer AC and Sir Roderick Carnegie AC for the ancient and refined aesthetics of Japanese culture. Since the 1970s both collectors have been acquiring and donating important examples of these rare and highly prized artefacts to the NGV. This dedicated philanthropy has resulted in the formation of the largest collection of Negoro lacquer ware in Australia and one of the most significant collections of its kind outside of Japan.