Examples of carved black tihei lacquer dating to the Song and Yuan dynasties are far less common that their cinnabar lacquer counterparts and the few extant examples are mainly found in Japanese or Western public collections as noted in the catalogue entry to a Song/Yuan black lacquer birds dish included in the Bukchon Art Museum 2008 exhibition, East Asian Lacquer, p. 38, Catalogue no. I-8.
It is especially rare to find a tray decorated with flowers as the primary design as most examples of this date include pairs of birds on a floral ground such as lot 1817 in the present sale. The design is extremely successful in this instance and the craftsman has made wonderful use of the deep layers of lustrous black lacquer to depict the different planes of overlapping and furled leaves.
Compare the floral design on the present example to that found on a Yuan lobed black lacquer square dish illustrated by Lee Yu-kuan, Oriental Lacquer Art, Tokyo and New York, 1972, p. 136, no. 69.