Foliated tray with dragons and seven Chinese characters

Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, Jiajing reign, 1522-1566
Medium
Carved black and red lacquer on wood core
Dimensions
H x W x D: 5 x 39.8 x 39.8 cm (1 15/16 x 15 11/16 x 15 11/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Jun Tsei Tai
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1982.1
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Lacquer, Vessel
Type

Dish

Keywords
China, dragon, Jiajing reign (1522 - 1566), lettering, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

Made for the imperial court, this tray is decorated with elements that underscore the legitimacy and righteous rule of the sovereign. A dragon, symbolizing the emperor, holds aloft the Chinese word sheng (imperial majesty). Smaller words on either side of this character mean "assist," referring to the ministers of state. Four other words appear at the cardinal points of the tray and proclaim "eternal good fortune and reward," blessings that emanate from the rule of a just emperor.

Published References
  • Jan Stuart. From the Collection: Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Calendar. Washington, January/February 1992. .
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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