choson period (18th-19th century)
Of rectangular shape, fitted with a rectangular cover very slightly domed on the top surface and with straight sides, applied on the surface and sides of the cover with a large pieces of mother-of-pearl intentionally cracked into a mosaic of smaller pieces of mother-of-pearl, like 'cracked-ice', all the pieces of shell of even depth and pronounced iridescence; the cover also decorated on the top surface with a large diamond-shaped panel covered by black lacquer and which is inlaid in mother-of-pearl with a lotus blossom with a stem of inlaid twisted wire, the blossom surrounded by four lengths of scrolling foliage linked in a diamond frame, each rendered in inlaid twisted wire and with small lotus buds created by small inlaid, diamond-shaped pieces of mother-of-pearl, the perimeter of the large diamond-shaped reserve outlined by a narrow string of twisted wire, the underside of the cover unfinished wood lined with paper; the lower section of the box made of wood of nearly equal size and shape to the lid and finished on the exterior to a medium brown, the flat base unfinished and the interior unfinished wood lined with paper
13 15/16 x 7 3/8 x 4 7/8in. (37.8 x 18.7 x 12.1cm.)

Lot Essay

For a similar box see Kawada Tei and Takahashi Takahiro, Korai Richo no raden (Koryo and Choson mother-of-pearl) (Tokyo: Mainichi Shimbunsha, 1986), pl. 58; Tokubetsu ten Korai Richo no raden (Special exhibition of Koryo and Choson mother-of-pearl) (Nara: Nara Prefectural Museum, 1986), no. 45; Arakawa Hirokazu, Raden (Mother-of-pearl) (Kyoto: Domeisha, 1985), fig. 182, pl. 161; Julia Meech, Lacquerware from the Weston Collection (New York: Christie's, Inc., 1995), pl. 2.