Martin Burgoyne, Incense Box (BOWLS, BOXES 2021)

A nest of boxes and trays that holds all the tools and equipment used in Japanese Incense appreciation games - Kumiko. The main box and its contents are made of solid walnut of walnut veneered plywood. All are decorated with a teak parquetry pattern enhanced with walnut and shell edging and strings, and shell dots. Their interiors are sprinkled with gold dust. The first layer consists of two boxes: the first is a writing box with Inkstone, water dropper and brushes, and ink sticks in their own tiny boxes. The second box holds a board with 10 shell flowers used to display the incense used in a game. Under this display board is a box holding 10 smaller boxes each with a set of 12 voting tiles. These 120 tiles are made from ebony with gold flower inlays on one side, and kanji characters on the other. The second layer is a square tray holding a range of cloths used like a ‘table-cloth’ on which the incense tools and equipment stand. The third layer is a smaller tray containing four small boxes. One box holds the origami packages of incense used in the games. One holds a set of origami boxes for holding the voting tiles from each round of a game. Another has a small board on top with 6 shell flowers used to display the incense that will be used in the trial sampling rounds of the game. Underneath, the box holds a set of pins to keep individual answer sheets in place. The fourth box contains a set of small ceramic jars holding various incenses. Beneath this third layer, is the bottom of the main box. In it are a range of ceramic containers and incense burners, plus two more small wooden boxes. One box is a three-tiered lidded box holding a range of items; charcoal tablets, and new and used incense plates. The smallest box with a slot in the top is used to collect participants voting tiles after each round of the game. The last picture shows all the tools and equipment contained in the main box laid out on the ‘table-cloth’.