This cloisonné (shippō) square container with a lid features a chrysanthemum blossom pattern on the sides and a butterfly pattern on top. The interior has a blue lining.
Cloisonné is a type of enamel in which wires are used to delineate decorative areas ("cloisons" in French) on an object, typically made of copper. Enamel paste is then applied in the compartmentalized areas before the object is fired and polished. The objects themselves may also be called cloisonné. The technique was used in the West in ancient times, spreading to China by the 14th century and to Japan in the mid-19th century. The Japanese characters used for the word shippō also mean "The Seven Treasures," referring to the seven treasures mentioned in Buddhist texts. Although these treasures may vary, they generally encompass a selection of the following: gold, silver, emerald, coral, agate, lapis lazuli, giant clamshell, glass, and pearl. The Japanese applied this expression to enamel wares because of their rich colors.