Oval Dish with Immortals Playing Weiqi
early Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
late 14th century
Carved red and green lacquer
H. 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm); W. 5 7/8 in. (14.9 cm); L. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm)
Lent by Florence and Herbert Irving
In the late fourteenth century figures in a landscape became a prominent motif in carved lacquers. The two figures playing chess at the center of this scene can be identified by their clothing as Daoist immortals (for example, the short cape of leaves worn by the seated figure with his back to the standing attendant). The irregular shape of the dish, the ribbed rim, and the mixed floral border are typical of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.