Lacquer box

citation

Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, Yongle reign, 1403-1424
Medium
Carved red lacquer (tihong) on wood core
Dimensions
H x W: 7.9 x 26.6 cm (3 1/8 x 10 1/2 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1953.64a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Container, Lacquer
Type

Box

Keywords
China, crane, landscape, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), pavilion, pine tree, sage, WWII-era provenance, Yongle reign (1403 - 1424)
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Fritz Low-Beer

Label

Two seated gentlemen enjoy this garden setting, which is imbued with symbols of longevity such as a pine tree and the fungus of immortality (at the lower left). In front of the pavilion, large rocks are arranged to imitate a mountain with a cavelike doorway, an allusion to a paradise of the immortals that is entered through a grotto. The man holding a wand may be a Daoist sage and his visitor a disciple seeking the secrets of immortality. As soon as the student becomes an immortal, the swooping crane will carry him heavenward to join other transcendent beings.

The precisely carved geometric patterns in the background--a different one for air, water, and land--are hallmarks of the exemplary workmanship of early fifteenth-century lacquer ware.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum