Monday, March 11, 2019

The Swap Shop and the Intriguing Japanese Trinket Box

Do you know what a Swap Shop is?  One just opened in town.  It's called Tom's Swap Shop.  Everyone is thrilled because it now inhabits a previously-empty retail space in our little town.

The grand opening was this past Saturday so I stopped after work.  Things were winding down (DANG, the food was already put away) but it was fun to look around.

This Swap Shop is kind of what I would call a combination indoor flea market/antique mall.  There were several different booths that I am guessing belong to different vendors as each space was organized and/or decorated differently.  I saw everything from Amish baked goods to old trains and tin toys and vintage furniture. There is a guy who deals in ball cards.  I even saw one quilt, too bad it really wasn’t anything worth noting.

When I first walked in the door, I spotted an adorable little trinket box on the top shelf of the first set of display shelves.  I checked it out right away, then set it back down to continue browsing all of the interesting items, but I couldn’t get that little box out of my head.  So, before I left, I happily bought that little box for $9.

You can probably see why I was intrigued by it.  All of the designs were quilts designs!  And I loved the hints of blue.  Of course I had to buy it.  You would have bought it if I hadn't seen it first, admit it.

It was not perfect, mind you.  There was some wear and chipping along the edges.  One of the front handles was damaged.  But you know what, I really didn’t care because it spoke to me.  Have you ever had that happen?

What I really love is how the little doors open to reveal 2 more drawers with a beautiful Asian maritime scene.  I have never seen anything like this.

Here are some more pictures of this little trinket box, or maybe I should call it a chest?

I did a little research when I got home -- what a treasure hunt!

This intriguing little chest is actually a Japanese piece called Hakone Yogesi Zaiku. Yogesi is the art of creating the marquetry.  Then the thin sheets of marquetry are used to decorate items such as jewelry boxes and puzzle boxes.  This decorative style became popular in the late Edo period in Japan (1603-1868).

I love that my cute little trinket chest has such an interesting history to go along with its unique look!

Here is a great YouTube video explaining how Yogesi is made:

Who knows?  This sweet little piece might just insire my next quilting project.

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