A very rare antique Japanese Kusuri Tansu (medicine chest) made of Kirinoki (Paulownia) and Hinoki (Cypress) woods. All original finish and bronze hardware. Doe skin drawer pulls used to prevent drawer fronts from marring when the chest is closed. Consisting of 168 small upper drawers to house herbs and medicines with 9 drawers below varying in size used to organize pharmaceutical records, business papers. and writing tools. Of these 9 drawers, the right hand small drawer houses a Suzuri inkstone used for writing prescriptions for patients below which is a secret compartment for storing valuables. The left hand large drawer with lock was used to store money from clients.
The Kusuri Tansu has become quite rare over time and the folding hinged feature of this chest makes it all the more unique. At the end of each business day, the herbalist would fold the tansu closed as a security measure to prevent anyone from tampering with the contents within.
Age: Edo Period (1800-1850)
Dimensions: Opened 49 1/2″ Wide x 25 1/4″ High x 7 5/8″ Deep, Closed 24 3/4″ Wide x 25 1/4″ High x 15 3/4″ Deep