July 15 (Sat.) - September 10 (Sun.), 2017
On Mondays and Fridays, except for National Holidays on July 17 (Mon.) and August 11(Fri.), but July 18 (Tue.) is closed.
until August 31/ 9:00 – 16:45 (last admission at 16:30)
after September 2 / 9:00 – 16:15 (last admission at 16:00)
Facing the new Meiji era, our country accomplished a great transformation into a modern nation, and the Imperial Family held various ceremonies and events in new styles after acquiring foreign systems and cultures. Within these events, small confectionary boxes called bonbonnières, became one of the gifts for guests at banquets, since the late 1880’s. These lovely small boxes which fit in one’s palm, were designed suit for felicitation, and have been passed down to the present day as souvenirs of auspicious events of the Imperial Family.
Because our museum collection includes a number of bonbonnières among the bequest items from the late Prince Chichibu family in 1996, we held an exhibition titled “Celebratory Miniature Boxes: The Decorative Beauty of the Bonbonnière”, in the spring of 2000, where they received much attention. After this, many bonbonnières were included in the items bequeathed by the late Prince Takamatsu family in 2005, and much has become clear about these bonbonnières of the Imperial family in the modern era, through several investigations on these acquisitions.
In this exhibition, based on the results of our investigations, we will trace the history of these bonbonnières focusing on their backgrounds. They were used not only for auspicious Imperial events such as enthronements and weddings, but also for various occasions such as receptions of distinguished foreign guests. Furthermore, we will introduce their features in each period which can be perceived from the meanings of their shapes and patterns, or their manufacturers and materials.
We hope our visitors will also direct their attentions towards the rich foundation of craft techniques which supported their production, along with the profundity of bonbonnière history, elaborating designs making the most of their materials such as silver, lacquer, ceramics, etc.