Art/ Collection/ Art Object

明 永樂 紅漆戧金雲龍紋經匣
Sutra Box with Dragons amid Clouds

Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Yongle period (1403–24)
Red lacquer with incised decoration inlaid with gold; damascened brass lock and key
H. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm); W. 5 in. (12.7 cm); L. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Sir Joseph Hotung and The Vincent Astor Foundation Gifts, 2001
Accession Number:
Not on view
Vigorous, sinewy dragons are frequently depicted on works produced during the reign of the Yongle emperor. Intended to hold a Buddhist text made in the Chinese handscroll format, elegant boxes like this one were produced for both use at the court and as diplomatic gifts, particularly to Tibet.
[ C. T. Loo & Co. , Paris, 1978] ; [ A & J Speelman Ltd. , London, 1998–2001; sold to MMA]
Related Objects

Bodhisattva Manjushri as Tikshna-Manjushri (Minjie Wenshu)

Medium: Gilt brass; lost-wax casting Accession: 2001.59 On view in:Gallery 208


Date: 16th century Medium: Wood (Huanghuali, or Dalbergia odoriferal); metal fittings Accession: 1976.193.7a–o On view in:Gallery 218

Jar with Dragon

Date: early 15th century Medium: Porcelain painted with cobalt blue under transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware) Accession: 37.191.1 On view in:Gallery 204

Jar with Carp in Lotus Pond

Date: mid-16th century Medium: Porcelain painted with cobalt blue under and colored enamels over transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware) Accession: 17.127.2 On view in:Gallery 204


Date: mid-15th century Medium: Brass Accession: 2016.21.2 On view in:Gallery 253