Rectangular altar box with floral roundels

Historical period(s)
Late Ming dynasty, Jiajing to Wanli reign, late 16th-early 17th century
Red lacquer on wood core with painted decoration and bamboo basketry panels
H x W x D: 18.1 x 44.8 x 19.6 cm (7 1/8 x 17 5/8 x 7 11/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Container, Lacquer


bamboo, China, flower, Jiajing reign (1522 - 1566), Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), Wanli reign (1573 - 1620), WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

On this box, the red surface and painted patterns epitomize the colorful palette of the late Ming dynasty (1368-1644), a period when combinations of lacquer and basketry designs were popular. The woven panels not only added contrasting tone and texture, but they also lightened the weight of the object. Originally this box had three round holes on the interior that held small cups for presenting wine to deities or ancestors in ritual ceremonies. After a later owner filled these holes, the box was used for other purposes.

Published References
  • Lee Yu-kuan. Oriental Lacquer Art., 1st ed. New York. p. 101.
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 182, p. 273.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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