Box with "Pommel Scroll" Design
Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)
late 13th–14th century
Carved red and black lacquer
H.1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm); Diam. 5 in. (12.7 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Not on view
Ubiquitous in the decoration of carved lacquer, the design that covers the surface of this box is often known as a “pommel scroll,” for it is thought to resemble the pommel of a Chinese sword. The Chinese term for this pattern, qu lun, can be translated loosely as “bent wheel,” and the pattern is also sometimes called guri—the Japanese reading of qu lun. While none of these terms is particularly precise, “pommel scroll” is used in this gallery to indicate the widespread use of the pattern in the art of Chinese lacquer.