Chirk Castle's Japanese chest takes centre stage at exhibition

Japanese nanban lacquer chest at Chirk Castle

Japanese chest, which has been at Chirk Castle for over 400 years, is one of the star items for the KIZUNA exhibition at the National Museum Wales in Cardiff.

Four hundred years ago, Sir Thomas Myddelton I, founding member of the British East India Company, was thought to have bought this beautiful Japanese (Nanban) chest. The chest arrived at Chirk Castle c1600 and is the only object with a strong link to Thomas Myddelton I who bought Chirk from the Crown in 1595.

This is the first ever Japanese piece known to have come to Wales and will now be one of the star items of an internationally significant exhibition, celebrating the relationship between Wales and Japan over the last 400 years.

KIZUNA
Japan | Wales | Design 
16 June – 9 September 2018

In this major new exhibition at National Museum Wales, you’ll discover why Europe has been captivated by Japanese art and design. You’ll also learn how Wales has played its own distinctive part in this fascinating story of international exchange.

The chest from c.1600, with a domed lid covered in shagreen (shark-skin) with panels of lacquer and inlaid with mother-of-pearl, has panels showing scenes of animals, fruit, birds, trees, flowers and houses
The chest from c.1600, with a domed lid covered in shagreen (shark-skin) with panels of lacquer and inlaid with mother-of-pearl, has panels showing scenes of animals, fruit, birds, trees, flowers and houses
The chest from c.1600, with a domed lid covered in shagreen (shark-skin) with panels of lacquer and inlaid with mother-of-pearl, has panels showing scenes of animals, fruit, birds, trees, flowers and houses