Lacquer dish with birds and camellia

Historical period(s)
Yuan or early Ming dynasty, 14th century
Carved red lacquer on wood core
H x W x D: 3.2 x 18.2 x 18.2 cm (1 1/4 x 7 3/16 x 7 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Lacquer, Vessel


bird, camellia, China, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)
Provenance research underway.

The design of two long-tailed birds in flight among oversized camellia flowers was one of the most popular motifs for lacquer ware during the fourteenth century. Typical of the period, the picture on this dish was carved with relatively little use of overlapping forms, and much of the ground is exposed between the generously spaced motifs. This use of open space in designs was superceded at the beginning of the next century by a preference for denser compositions. Note the delicately incised strokes that add subtle textures to the bird-and-flower motifs.

Published References
  • Lee Yu-kuan. Oriental Lacquer Art., 1st ed. New York. p. 137.
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 171, p. 262.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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