Previously sold at Christie's London, 14-16 December 1983, lot 58.
Lacquer carvings with Longqing reign marks are rare as the reign period was short, lasting only six years (1567-1572). Two comparable Longqing examples both with similar upright dragons are known: the first, a dish also from the Lee Family collection, was included in the exhibition, Chinese Lacquerware, the Shoto Museum of Art, 1991, illustrated in the Catalogue, p. 62, no. 65; and a lobed carved polychrome lacquer box was included in the exhibition, Carving the Subtle Radiance of Colors, Treasured Lacquerware in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2007, illustrated in the Catalogue, p. 106, no. 95; where the author cites the Lee Family dishes as references. Also, see a descending dragon on a Longqing basin in the British Museum, illustrated by H. Garner, Chinese Lacquer, Faber and Faber, 1979, 145, no. 87.
The rendition of the lively upright dragon is closely comparable to those of the preceding Jiajing reign (1522-1566), cf. Jiajing-marked cinnabar lacquer carvings included in the exhibition, 2000 Years of Chinese Lacquer, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1993, p. 119, no. 59, an octagonal dish; an octagonal box, p. 123, no. 62; and a bowl, p. 127, no. 64.