Found Objects #5: The Japanese Chest

IMG_1385When we first viewed the house it was empty apart from this large wooden chest. It was on the floor in the back bedroom with a hand written sign sticky taped to it saying “House clearers: DO NOT REMOVE. Will be collected by the family at a later stage”. Then when we moved it it was still there. I contacted Sam the real estate agent asking whether the box was going to be collected. He made enquiries and relayed to us that the box could be disposed of.


Its contents were varied. No, the cat hopped in later. I didn’t get photos of everything but there were a couple of unfinished child’s school projects, one concerning a timeline of Leicester from prehistoric times to the 20th century. There was a packet of gun silencer tape – I really should have taken a picture. There was also an incomplete typed university essay with no name on it about poetry and a hand written note from Balliol College Oxford recommending a particular author or text, I can’t remember exactly what it said.

IMG_0883A box of old pencils and markers.

IMG_0879A box of Leyland Cellulose Filler still quite full.

IMG_1532There were a number of posters as well: a large photographic poster of Paris viewed from the top of Notre Dame Cathedral, several cheap prints of Impressionist paintings such as Monet’s Water Lilies, and most interestingly this piece of 1960s psychedelia advertising a New Year concert celebrating the arrival of 1967.


“Presented in Dance – Concert by Bill Graham in San Francisco/New Year Bash”

IMG_1534And look at that line up: Jefferson Airplane; Grateful Dead; Quicksilver Messenger Service. It all took place at the Fillmore Auditorium (hub of San Francisco’s psychedelic scene) on Friday and Saturday December 30 and 31, 9pm until 2am. The price of a ticket was $2.50 or $5 with breakfast. Doing some research on the Fillmore, this poster is probably quite collectible, though not in the best condition.

IMG_1536You could buy tickets in San Francisco from: City Lights Bookstore; The Psychedelic Shop; Bally Lo (Union Square); The Town Squire (1318 Polk); S F State College. At Berkeley you could get them from: Campus Records, Discount Records; Shakespeare and Co. If you were in Mill Valley: The Mod Hatter/Sausalito: The Tides Bookstore or Rexall Pharmacy/and in Menlo Park: Kepler’s Bookstore. The poster also says “Copyright 1966 Wes Wilson #15, printing by West Coast Lithograph Co, SF”. The more I look into this the more I think this might be worth something as Wes Wilson invented this iconic 1960s psychedelic graphic style.

IMG_1387There was also this length of hand printed Sanderson wallpaper featuring centurions and ancient Roman architecture called “When in Rome”.

IMG_1397The reason I call this the Japanese chest is this label inside. It says Isseido, which is a famous bookstore in Tokyo.

IMG_1388There were also dozens of these large black and white poster prints of photographs. They featured Japanese temple architecture, sculpture, calligraphy and painting.

IMG_1392Does anyone understand Japanese? If so I would love to know what this says.

I picture myself in the future on the Antiques Roadshow television program with some or all of these items, where I will tell the story of how I found them in a box abandoned in our old house. I will be told that the Japanese prints are priceless and the Wes Wilson poster worth hundred of thousands of pounds. I will look stunned and then exclaim that I will never part with them, as they do on Antiques Roadshow. Then I will go straight down to the auction house to flog them off to the highest bidder. More than likely though, I would be told that the gun silencer tape was in fact the most collectible item and there will be a close up of me sighing heavily as I describe how I threw it away.



14 thoughts on “Found Objects #5: The Japanese Chest

  1. I hope you won’t think about the gun silencer tape when your builders are half way through. I can translate the Japanese for you. it is the author’s acknowledgements page “This book is dedicated to Kazuyo at the tea house without whom I could not have finished this book.”

  2. auction pop treasure and do get 1000’s for any Fillmore poster with The Grateful Dead – the Deadheads are legion. just put Fillmore into the search box at

  3. That poster is mint, even in its condition. I wish I’d kept all the rave posters I used to collect. There were some well cool designs!

  4. Pingback: Build Days #16 & #17 | Edwardian House Renovation

  5. Pingback: The Return of the Japanese Chest…or is that the Phantom Japanese Chest… | Edwardian House Renovation

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