Box with cover


Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, Wanli reign, 1573-1620, probably 1580s-1590s
Red lacquer over wood core with polychrome, gold, and silver, and engraved gold (qiangjin) decoration
H x W x D: 18.7 x 19.3 x 34.6 cm (7 3/8 x 7 5/8 x 13 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Container, Lacquer


camellia, China, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), plum blossom, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Bluett and Sons, Ltd. 1884 - 1992


During the 16th century, lacquer ware with "filled-in decoration" was popular. The term refers to two variant techniques used to create colorful designs. In the technique used here, known as "dry filled-in lacquer," the background lacquer is allowed to set firmly and then motifs are cut into it and filled with contrasting colors of lacquer. After drying and polishing, the motifs are embellished by incised outlines that are filled with gold to create a richly worked appearance for the surface of the object.

The sides of this box have slightly recessed panels painted with designs of rocks and flowering plum and camellia blossoms. The top of the cover is decorated with a pair of five-clawed dragons symmetrically arrayed among clouds over chevronlike rocks and stylized waves, separated from the background diaper pattern by a foliate frame.

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

Copyright with museum