Exhibitions/ Art Object

Box with Gardenia, Plum Blossoms, and Finches

Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
late 16th–early 17th century
Black lacquer painted with lacquer and oil colors; basketry panels
H. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm); W.18 3/8 in. (46.7 cm); D. 12 in. (30.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
Accession Number:
2015.500.1.61a, b
Not on view
During the late Ming period, lacquer boxes with basketry panels were used for the presentation of gifts and documents, as well as for storage. Multicolored designs enjoyed great popularity, and artists also juxtaposed materials of contrasting colors and textures. In the seventeenth century a rectangular box with straight sides gradually replaced the round-shouldered type shown here.
Florence and Herbert Irving , New York (until 2015; donated to MMA)
Related Objects

Box with plum blossoms and birds

Date: early 17th century Medium: Carved red lacquer; gilded basketry panels Accession: 2015.500.1.60a, b On view in:Gallery 221

Rice measure with Daoist deities

Date: 16th century Medium: Carved red, green, and black lacquer Accession: 13.100.140 On view in:Gallery 221

Dish with long-tailed birds and hollyhock

Date: 14th century Medium: Carved red lacquer Accession: 2011.120.1 On view in:Gallery 221

Set of boxes

Date: 19th century Medium: Carved red lacquer; interior boxes painted and gilded Accession: 2015.500.1.105a–m On view in:Gallery 221

Incense box with fragrant grass design

Date: late 13th century Medium: Carved black, red, and yellow lacquer Accession: 2007.231a, b On view in:Gallery 221