A MING CARVED POLYCHROME LACQUER 'DRAGON AND PHOENIX' CIRCULAR BOX AND COVER
A MING CARVED POLYCHROME LACQUER 'DRAGON AND PHOENIX' CIRCULAR BOX AND COVER

JIAJING INCISED AND GILT SIX-CHARACTER MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1522-1566)

Details
A MING CARVED POLYCHROME LACQUER 'DRAGON AND PHOENIX' CIRCULAR BOX AND COVER
JIAJING INCISED AND GILT SIX-CHARACTER MARK AND OF THE PERIOD (1522-1566)
The upper surface of the box is finely carved in shallow relief with a stylised Shou, 'Longevity', character within a medallion, supported on a lingzhi spray and below a Wan, 'Ten Thousand' symbol, dividing an upright five-clawed dragon and a descending longtailed phoenix, all amidst clusters of ruyi clouds and within a narrow stepped border of S-shaped waves. The rounded sides are similarly carved with four dragons striding against a wave-diaper ground, the vertical sides with a band of floral scroll, repeated on the sides of the box, supported on a short foot decorated with a keyfret band. The interiors are applied with a brown lacquer, and the base is lacquered black bearing the reign mark incised in a vertical line.
11 3/8 in. (29.2 cm.) diam.
Provenance
Collection of Chingwah Lee, sold in San Francisco, 8 June 1981, lot 147
Estate of Dr. Ip Yee, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 19 November 1984, lot 113
Exhibited
The Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne, 1990, Dragon and Phoenix, Chinese Lacquer Ware, The Lee Family collection, Catalogue, no. 58
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1990/91
The Shoto Museum of Art, Shibuya, Japan, 1991, Chinese Lacquerware, Catalogue, no. 91.

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Lot Essay

A large Jiajing-marked polychrome lacquer box (42.5 cm. diam.) carved with a similar 'dragon and phoenix', divided by Wan and Shou symbols, is in the Beijing Palace Museum Collection, illustrated in Carved Lacquer Ware, Forbidden City Publishing House, 2008, pp. 146-7, no. 98.
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