• Important Chinese Lacquer from auction at Christies

    Sale 2730

    Important Chinese Lacquer from the Lee Family Collection

    1 December 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1801


    Price Realised  


    YUAN DYNASTY (1279-1368)

    The cavetto formed by eight bracket-lobes encircling the slightly sunken central medallion, the exterior of conforming shape, raised on a short foot ring, covered overall with an attractive brownish-black lacquer
    8 1/4 in. (21 cm.) diam., box

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    The form of this dish appears in a number of media in the Yuan period, most notably in metal, porcelain and lacquer. The bracket-lobed outline was also adopted for a variety of vessels in both the Song and Yuan dynasties, as can be seen from the seven-lobed lacquer box excavated from the Southern Song tomb at Wujin, Jiangsu province in 1977-78, illustrated by Chen Jing, 'Important newly excavated Southern Song lacquers from Wujin, Jiangsu', Wenwu, 1979, No. 3, pp. 47-8, pl. 2, figs. 4 & 6. Another bracket-lobed box - this one with six lobes - was excavated from a Southern Song tomb in Fuzhou city in 1975 and illustrated in the article by the Fujian Provincial Museum, 'Brief, orderly, report of the excavation of a Southern Song tomb in the northern suburbs of Fuzhou city', Wenwu, 1977, No. 7, p. 11, pl. 3, no. 2.

    The present dish is exceptionally well formed with crisp moulding. Compare a bracket-lobed lacquer dish dated to the Yuan dynasty of the same size and shape as the current dish sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 30 April 2001, lot 627; a slightly larger (21.5 cm. diam.) black lacquer dish of similar form in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum, illustrated in Hai-wai Yi-chen, Chinese Art in Overseas Collections: Lacquerware, 1987, no. 42; and another slightly larger dish (20 cm. diam.) in the collection of the Freer Gallery, Washington D.C., illustrated in The Freer Gallery of Art - I, China, 1972, no. 114.


    The Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne, 1990, Dragon and Phoenix, Chinese Lacquer Ware, The Lee Family Collection, Catalogue, no. 21
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1990/91
    The Shoto Museum of Art, Shibuya, Japan, 1991, Chinese Lacquerware, Catalogue, no. 9