The 2nd half of the 19th century in Europe saw an explosion of interest in all things Japanese. The style influenced everything from painting to objects within the European aesthetic. A box such as this may well have been imported for sale in England in one of the high-end London retailers, Liberty & Co, and Farmer and Rogers, who capitalised on the taste of the time. Of course, it is mere speculation to suggest this Japanese lacquer cabinet was sold through those avenues, but it is an example of how ingrained Japonisme was in 19th century England. Important exhibitions like the International Exhibition in London, 1862 revealed the incredible artistic output of contemporary Japan.
This beautiful tabletop cabinet is in its original condition, with no restoration evident. Indeed, there are small chips and scuffs which could be restored but are equally part of its character.