Art/ Collection/ Art Object

元 剔犀劍環紋盒
Box with Pommel Scroll

Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)
late 13th–14th century
Carved red and black lacquer
H.1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm); Diam. 5 in. (12.7 cm)
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
Not on view
Ubiquitous in the decoration of carved lacquer and also found in clay and metal, the design on this box was designated the “pommel scroll” as early as the Song period (960–1279), and this term is widely used in the cataloguing of lacquer. It refers to the pommel of a sword, which is an unexpected prototype for a design in another material. The Japanese term guri, or bent wheel, is also sometimes used to categorize lacquers with this design.
Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer , New York (until d. 1929; bequeathed to MMA)
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