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AN EXTREMELY RARE MING BLACK LACQUER RECTANGULAR TRAY
AN EXTREMELY RARE MING BLACK LACQUER RECTANGULAR TRAY

Details
AN EXTREMELY RARE MING BLACK LACQUER RECTANGULAR TRAY
MING DYNASTY, 16TH CENTURY

The elongated rectangular tray intricately carved on the interior and exterior sides, with various insects and small animals, including lizard, praying mantis, squirrel, frog, dragonfly and bee, perched on and in flight amidst branches of pine, prunus and bamboo, the 'Three Friends of Winter', the base with black lacquer
14 in. (35.6 cm.) long, Japanese wood box

Lot Essay

A tray of same pattern and size, possibly the pair to the present tray, sold in these Rooms, 28 November 2006, lot 1690.

The present tray, characterised by very dense decoration and a great sense of movement, might very well have been made in Yunnan, according to the features listed by Sir Harry Garner, Chinese Lacquer, London, 1979, p. 134. He illustrates a circular Yunnan-ware dish carved in the same style as the present lot, and with an identical composition of insects and reptiles amidst the 'Three Friends of Winter', ibid., pl. 74, formerly from the Dreyfus Collection, noting that "such subjects are not to be found elsewhere in Chinese carved lacquer". Another dish of square foliate form with the Three Friends theme only, from the Seattle Art Museum, is illustrated on pl. 73.

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