• Important Chinese Lacquer from auction at Christies

    Sale 2730

    Important Chinese Lacquer from the Lee Family Collection

    1 December 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1825


    Price Realised  


    YUAN DYNASTY (1279-1368)

    The panel supported on a stand formed by two scroll feet and vertical posts flanking either side with spandrels in red lacquer on the sides and underneath the apron, the central panel of the screen inlaid with mother-of-pearl to depict officials gathering in a two-storey pavilion by a lotus pond garden, some playing and enjoying the qin on the fenced balcony above the pond, a few discussing a landscape hanging scroll painting in the next room, three more playing chess upstairs, and another three figures grouped under a pine tree, with one more guest arriving at the front porch accompanied by attendants carrying a qin and a box, greeted by two gentlemen and a crane, the border decorated with boys holding lotus flower sprays to the sides, phoenix and floral scrolls above, and two panels with rabbits below
    25 x 20 1/2 x 8 5/8 in. (63.5 x 52.2 x 22 cm.), Japanese wood box

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    The construction and form of the present screen relate closely to a number of published screens dated to the Yuan and early Ming dynasties. Compare the form with an important documentary screen inscribed with a cyclical date corresponding to 1329, sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 28 November 2005, lot 1460. Two other mother-of-pearl inlaid screens of related construction dated to the Yuan and early Ming dynasties were included in the 1979 Tokyo National Museum exhibition Chinese Inlaid Mother-of-Pearl Lacquer Art, and were subsequently published in the 1981 Catalogue, nos. 26 and 41, the latter also appears to have been decorated on only one side.

    Compare the depiction of the boys holding a lotus stem aloft (forming the rebus liansheng guizi, the wish for numerous progeny) to a very similar rendering of the motif on the pillar of the pavilion in the mother-of-pearl inlaid box included in the present sale, lot 1824.


    The Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne, 1990, Dragon and Phoenix, Chinese Lacquer Ware, The Lee Family Collection, Catalogue, no. 83
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1990/91
    The Shoto Museum of Art, Shibuya, Japan, 1991, Chinese Lacquerware, Catalogue, no. 96