Lacquer box with bird and flower design

Historical period(s)
Yuan dynasty, 14th century
Carved red lacquer on wood core
H x W x D: 7.5 x 17.8 x 17.8 cm (2 15/16 x 7 x 7 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Container, Lacquer


bird, China, flower, parrot, peony, WWII-era provenance, Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)
Provenance research underway.

The motif of two long-tailed birds amid a lush array of flowers first gained popularity in lacquerware of the Yuan dynasty (1279–1368).  This box exemplifies the almost sculptural treatment of this motif in the Yuan dynasty, when each element in a lacquer design was rendered in high-relief and kept spatially discrete from neighboring elements.

Published References
  • Around Chigusa: Tea and The Arts of Sixteenth-Century Japan. Princeton, New Jersey. p. 48, fig. 5.
  • Xi Mengcao. Haiwai guizhen teji: Zhongguo qiqi [Chinese Treasures Overseas, a special collection at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery]. no. 71, July 1991. pp. 76-81.
  • Lee Yu-kuan. Oriental Lacquer Art., 1st ed. New York. p. 162.
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 173, p. 264.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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