This is a vintage Japanese natsume or tea caddy used in the chanoyu tea ceremony. It is used to hold the powdered green tea called matcha. A quality natsume such as this is made of turn wood, typicallyhinoki or Japanese cypress. The wood is lacquered in the traditional Japanese method with over 20 coats of urushi lacquer. This particular lacquer is a traditional bright red color. Decorated with gold cart wheels floating though gold and silver rushing water. This is a beautiful example of Japanese lacquerware.
Having been only very sparingly and lovingly used for decades this natsume remains in fine condition. The tea caddy is perhaps the most quintessential shape and size for natsume and measures approximately 2 1/2" in diameter by 2 1/2" tall (6.5 x 6.5 cm). A very elegant and functional piece of art to hold your favorite tea or some other treasures. PLEASE NOTE Any other items shown in the photos besides the Natsume are props and example of how the item might be used and are NOT included in the sales of this listing.