Upcoming Auctions and Events

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A FINELY CARVED CHINESE THREE-COLOUR LACQUER QUATREFOIL BOX AND COVER
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more
A FINELY CARVED CHINESE THREE-COLOUR LACQUER QUATREFOIL BOX AND COVER

QIANLONG (1736-95)

Details
A FINELY CARVED CHINESE THREE-COLOUR LACQUER QUATREFOIL BOX AND COVER
QIANLONG (1736-95)
Crisply carved through the layers of ochre-yellow, green and cinnabar red lacquer on the cover with an idyllic scene of cranes and bats beside pine and peach trees amongst rockwork and above elaborately detailed swirling waves, all beneath cloud scrolls and framed within a classic scroll border, the curved sides of the box and cover decorated with cartouches enclosing sprays of pomegranates, finger citron, peaches, melons and berries, divided by ribboned auspicious emblems and within key-pattern borders to the rims
14½ in. (36.9 cm.) wide
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

This rare carved lacquer box typifies the production of fine lacquer wares in the high Qing in its use of complicated multi-layered polychrome carving and its employment of symbolisms, especially in regards to the rebuses these symbols provide. Although predominantly executed in red, the depth and complexity of the main design was further enhanced by a layer of black lacquer against a yellow-lattice ground. This requires time-consuming layering of the lacquer, and masterful skills in the planning and carving of the design to achieve the desired effect. In this instance, the carving has been very well executed with dexterity, roundness, and an unusual degree of details.

The main panel on the box has been decorated with cranes, pine trees, peaches, rockwork, waves, bats and the magic fungus, lingzhi. The peach has always been associated with longevity, and bats with luck or fortune. The rock (pronounced yan) provides the rebus for 'extending' (also pronounced yan); while lingzhi provides the rebus for 'age' (pronounced ling). Therefore the pine, crane, rock and lingzhi can be combined to read song he yan ling, 'Extending one's lifespan (for as long) as pine trees and cranes', and peaches, rock (mountain), bats and waves provides the rebus for shou shan fu hai, 'Life as old as a mountain, and fortune as vast as the sea.' Beside this auspicious imagery, the sides of the box and cover are carved with panels of fruits, including 'The Three Abundances'-the peach (longevity), the finger citrus (fortune) and the pomegranate (the abundance of offspring)-amongst others.
;

More from A VIEW OVER EATON SQUARE A PRIVATE COLLECTION

View All
View All