Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Picnic basket

Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
19th century
Zitan wood with metal corner mounts, inlaid with mother-of-pearl and semiprecious stones
H. 9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm); L. 15 1/8 in. (38.4 cm); D. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Willaim Corbus, 1977
Accession Number:
Not on view
This picnic basket is outfitted with three stacked trays, one hidden flat tray, and a flat cover that is fastened to the handle with a long wooden pin. The decorative designs on the box appeal to the popular taste for the fantastic and auspicious.

The top of the cover displays a marvelous scene of combat between two sword-wielding figures, probably illustrating an episode from a popular story of chivalry. The sides of the trays are adorned with floral sprays, leafy sprigs, and fruit, which allude to progeny, fulfilled wishes, and peace.
Mr. and Mrs. William Corbus , New York (until 1977; donated to MMA)
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