Bamboo Obento-Bako (Lunch Box), Japanese, Meiji period

Woven bamboo basket case, edged with black bamboo flat strips. Bronze hinges, clasp (missing pin) and metal handles at both ends with a cotton string for carrying.  Curved form of the basket lid is shaped to meet the form of the nested tin-washed boxes held together by a handwoven cotton strip. The various sections of the boxes would hold cold rice, cooked vegetables or fish and pickles. The frequent handling of the basket created a beautiful patina; the condition is great.

Bamboo, tin and  bronze, Japan, Meiji period, 19th century antique. 

Measures 7” x  4 ¼" x 3".  Insert: 6"x4"x2" 

(Ref: YO NO BI, "The Beauty of Japanese Folk Art" by William Jay Rathbun with contributions by Michael Knight Seattle Art Museum, University of Washington Press).