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)
Lent by Florence and Herbert Irving
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.