VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Carved Red Lacquer Box with Bird and Flower Design
C1983.0023
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This lacquer box is distinguished by its fine craftsmanship and attractive decorative design. The slightly rounded cover of this lacquer box is carved with two herons in flight above a bed of hibiscus on a buff background, while the straight sides are decorated with bands of flowers of the four seasons. A layer of black lacquer is inserted in between the red, and two parallel grooves are carved on the outside of the foot ring. The base is lacquered in black. The box features an incised mark of Zhang Cheng on the left side and also a red Phags-pa inscription reading " Yangji " painted on the centre of the base and on the inside of the cover.

History of the Object
The resinous sap of the lacquer tree rhus verniciflua has been used by the Chinese as a protective and watertight covering for wood and other vessels since the Neolithic period. It was during the Yuan and early Ming that the most accomplished carved lacquers were produced, and among these the wares produced by Zhang Cheng and Yang Mao of Jiaxing in Zhejiang province are renowned for their fine technique and lustrous finish.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Lacquer 
Measurements
Diameter: 24.4cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 13th century ~ AD 14th century 
Creation date
13th Century- 14th Century; 1271-1368 (Yuan dynasty) 
Function
Box 
Acquisition
Acquired by the Hong Kong Museum of Art in 1983 
Copyright
Collection of the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Government of the HKSAR All rights reserved 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Government property, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 
Museum
Hong Kong Museum of Art 
Credit line
 

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