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    Sale 2621

    Important Chinese Lacquer Wares from the Lee Family Collection

    3 December 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 2116

    A SUPERB EARLY MING CARVED CINNABAR LACQUER 'PEONY' CIRCULAR BOX AND COVER

    Price Realised  

    A SUPERB EARLY MING CARVED CINNABAR LACQUER 'PEONY' CIRCULAR BOX AND COVER
    YONGLE INCISED SIX-CHARACTER MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1403-1425)

    The compressed circular cover naturalistically carved through the thick cinnabar, in varying depths to depict complex layers of peony flowers growing on long leafy stems, the base similarly decorated, all between raised plain line borders, the interiors and recessed base with a dark brown lacquer, one side of the base bearing the incised reign mark written in a vertical line
    4 in. (10.2 cm.) diam., box


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    The thickness of the cinnabar lacquer applied to both the box and cover is of particular note; it enabled the carver to render differing levels of depth so that in some areas the complicated pattern gives the impression of having three layers. Two similar Yongle-marked circular boxes of this same size are in the National Palace Museum collection, Taipei, and both were included in the exhibition, Qi, 'Lacquerware', 1981, are illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 9, designed with a dense pattern of hollyhock; and no. 10, with camellia flowers.

    Boxes of this type with varying thicknesses of cinnabar lacquer in the Beijing Palace Museum collection are illustrated in Lacquer Wares of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Commercial Press, Hong Kong, 2006, pp. 70-77, nos. 48-54; all variously carved to include plum blossoms, camillia, interlocking lotus blossoms, peach blossoms, lotus flowers and lychees.

    Exhibited

    The Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne, 1990, Dragon and Phoenix, Chinese Lacquer Ware, The Lee Family Collection, Catalogue, no. 44
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1990/91
    The Shoto Museum of Art, Shibuya, Japan, Chinese Lacquerware, 1991, Catalogue, no. 50
    Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2000 Years of Chinese Lacquer, 1993, Catalogue, no. 42