A rare an high quality Japanese Matsumoto Choba Tansu (merchant chest from the Matsumoto region of Japan) made of Keyaki (Zelkova) and Sugi (Cryptomeria) woods. All original hand forged iron hardware with full moon style lock plates and Warabite handles. Recessed side handles lift open to accommodate a wood pole through each handle allowing two persons to carry the tansu from place to place. Solid floating wood panels on the side, the top and the sliding doors were used to prevent cracks over time.
Merchant chests were proudly owned by shopkeepers and served a dual purpose. The obvious one is a chest to store the business records, books, valuables, and office supplies. The less obvious one was using it as a form of advertising. These chests were often displayed in a prominent area of the store that was viewable by customers. It provided them with an assurance that they were dealing with a successful business establishment as well as a permanence that they would be in business for many years to come.
Age: Mid Meiji Era (1880-1890)
Dimensions: 37″ Wide by 41 5/8″ High by 16 3/8″ Deep