Round box with dragon and flower

Decorations carved in relief and countersunk decoration carved in black and tan intaglio. The box bears a mark on the base.

Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, Wanli reign, 1590s
Medium
Carved red, black, and yellow lacquer (ticai) on wood core
Dimensions
H x W: 13.2 x 32.3 cm (5 3/16 x 12 11/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1953.63a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Container, Lacquer
Type

Box

Keywords
China, cloud, dragon, flower, inscription, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), Wanli reign (1573 - 1620), wave, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

From at least 1950 to 1953
F. Low-Beer & Co., New York, N.Y., from at least March 1950 [1]

From 1953
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Fritz Low-Beer (1906-1976) on March 23, 1953 [2]

Notes:

[1] See the document confirming the examination of the object and acquisition approval by the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, the Commission of Fine Arts, and Katherine Rhoades in March 1950, copy in object file. The box was published and illustrated by Low-Beer in 1952, see Fritz Low-Beer, “Chinese Lacquer of the Middle and Late Ming period,” Bulletin of Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities 24 (1952), p. 34, pl. 21.

[2] See Fritz Low-Beer & Co.’s invoice, dated to March 23, 1953, where the object is listed as “Circular box and cover, carved red lacquer. Decoration of 2 five-clawed dragons, waves, flames, clouds, rocks and floral scraps. Wanli mark and period,” copy in object file.

Previous Owner(s)

Fritz Low-Beer

Description

Decorations carved in relief and countersunk decoration carved in black and tan intaglio. The box bears a mark on the base.

Inscription(s)

Incised inscription on the base reads "Ta Ming Wan-li nien chih."

Marking(s)

The box bears a mark on the base dating it to the Wanli reign of the Ming dynasty.

Published References
  • Fritz Low-Beer. Chinese Lacquer of the Middle and Late Ming Period. no. 24 Stockholm. p. 34, pl. 21.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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