Image 1 of 1

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

  • Period

    possibly 16th century
  • Geography

  • Material

    Black lacquer on wood core with mother-of-pearl inlay and leaded brass wire
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 3.7 x 16.5 x 39.1 cm (1 7/16 x 6 1/2 x 15 3/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    The landscape scene on the try features a celsetial orb pictured at the center of parting clouds that are positioned in the top middle of the design. Below, a tall gnarled tree of indeterminable species (with six-pointed foliage) twists and turns, spreading across the picture plane. At the base of the tree several large Taihu rocks appear (these bear the most damage with later pieces of brightly-colored shell repair).
    Slender bamboo sprays project from behind the rocks and a waterfall spills over the rocks, flowing into the stream bed in several rounded arcs suggestive of a fast current. A pair of mandarin ducks have been incised into the shell inlay used to depict the rocks. A large animal (head now gone) also appears in front of the tree; this recumbent beast has been described as a deer, but this can only be conjecture. The animal does not have hooves or a typical deer tail. The landscape is completed with a row of sketchily conceived pine trees that appear on the distant shore.
    The borders of the tray are filled with a typical "brocade pattern" at the corners and the sides bear ogival cartouches that contain peony scrolls. The underside of the tray has a schematic floral design that consists of sketchy flowers with a "star burst" arrangement of eight petals. This design does not seem to appear before the Ming dynasty.
  • Provenance

    ?-to 1972
    Sammy Yu Kuan Lee, President of Oriental House, Ltd., Tokyo, and Sammy Y. Lee & Wangs Company, Ltd., Hong Kong [1]
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York, NY, purchased from Sammy Yu Kuan Lee, President of Oriental House, Ltd., Tokyo, and Sammy Y. Lee & Wangs Company, Ltd., Hong Kong [2]
    Unidentified owner, method of transfer unknown [3]
    Estate of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, New York, NY [4]
    Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, New York, NY, transferred from the Estate of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler [5]
    From 1997
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
    [1] See paper file from the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, copy in object file.
    [2] See note 1.
    [3] The object was on loan to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery between 1987 and 1997.
    [4] See note 1. See curatorial remark 1.
    [5] See note 1.
  • Collection

    Arthur M. Sackler Collection
  • Exhibition History

    The Arts of China (November 18, 1990 to September 7, 2014)
    Pavilions and Immortal Mountains: Chinese Decorative Art and Paintings (September 28, 1987 to February 28, 1988)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Sammy Y. Lee & Wangs Company, Ltd.
    Oriental House LTD
    Sammy Yu Kuan Lee 李汝寬
    Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
    The Arthur M. Sackler Collections Trust
    Arthur M. Sackler Foundation (founded 1965)
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Gift of The Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring