W. 1 5/16 in. (3.4 cm); L. 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm); D. 1/4 in. (0.7 cm)
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2003
Not on view
In continuous use since the Tang dynasty, the paiban usually comprises two to six slabs of wood strung together at one end with a cord. It is held vertically and clapped to keep time. Here, a beautifully decorated single length of ivory preserves traces of its original red pigment. Red-colored ivory clappers are known in literature of the Northern Song dynasty (11th century).
A. W. Bahr Collection ; [ Robert H. Ellsworth , New York, until 2003; to Christie's] ; sale, Christie's, New York , March 26, 2003, lot 1; to MMA
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Defining Yongle, Imperial Art in Early Fifteenth-Century China," April 1, 2005–July 10, 2005.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Extravagant Display: Chinese Art in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," December 14, 2010–May 1, 2011.