Treasure Box of Eternal Spring and Longevity 剔紅春壽寶盒

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 3

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At A Glance

  • Period

  • Geography

  • Material

    Carved red, green, and yellow lacquer on wood core
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 16.5 x 44 x 44 cm (6 1/2 x 17 5/16 x 17 5/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    From the uppermost surface downward, strata of cinnabar, green, and buff lacquer cover the surface of the round box with low sides. The shoulders slope gently and the "mouth" of the box is slightly constricted. This shape is sometimes called "steamed cake box" (zhengbing he) in reference to a food item that this shape resembles. The lacquer surface is nearly a quarter of an inch thick. Perhaps the highest relief motifs were separately made and attached to the surface, while the lower relief motifs are carved in the lacquer surface). The artisan varied the depth of the incisions in order to expose and utilize the different colors in making the design. The contrasts in color and height of the carving create a vibrant, three-dimensional design.
  • Inscriptions

    On re-lacquered base, incised and filled with gold, Da Qing Qianlong nianzhi.
  • Provenance

    From 1980 to 1988
    Takashi Yanagi, Kyoto, Japan, purchased at a 1980 auction at the Tokyo Art Club [1]
    From 1988 to 1990
    Donald J. Wineman, New York, purchased from Takashi Yanagi in 1988 [2]
    From 1990
    Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Donald J. Wineman in 1990
    [1] See Curatorial Note 8, Jan Stuart, December 1990, in the object record.
    Also, according to correspondence provided by Mr. Wineman, Klaus Naumann (of East Asian Art, Tokyo) informed him that he had once seen the object in the Kanazawa city home of a famous (unnamed) Japanese collector in 1968. Further, the Chinese rare book scholar Soren Edgren saw the object in Kyoto between 1969 and 1971 (see Curatorial Note 8, Jan Stuart, December 1990, in the object record).
    [2] See note 1.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Looking Out, Looking In: Art in Late Imperial China (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Seasons: Chinese Landscapes (December 18, 2010 to June 12, 2011)
    Beyond Paper: Chinese Calligraphy on Objects (August 18, 1994 to July 3, 1997)
    Chinese Art (May 9 to November 29, 1993)
    Futamono: East Asian Boxes (March to May 1984)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Takashi Yanagi
    Donald J. Wineman
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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