octagonal box with lid; lid carved with central circle surrounded by 4 C-scrolls and 4 concentric bands of tixi scrolls; box decorated with rolls of same scrolls; black interior

Octagonal Box, 15th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

A large, covered box such as this would have made a fine presentation gift in an upper-class household. It was constructed with a mesh fabric over its wooden core, then the lacquer exterior was built up through application of successive layers of black and red lacquer. Finally, it was carved in the tixi technique to reveal the three layers of black, barely visible in the red. Lacquer carved with pommel scroll motifs probably had its beginning in the late Song dynasty (1200s). It reached its greatest popularity during the Yuan (1300s) and early Ming era but continued well into the 1500s.

Details
Title
Octagonal Box
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2001.73.2a,b
Curator Approved

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octagonal box with lid; lid carved with central circle surrounded by 4 C-scrolls and 4 concentric bands of tixi scrolls; box decorated with rolls of same scrolls; black interior