Box with lychees, Carved red and black lacquer, China

明中期 剔紅荔枝紋漆盒
Box with lychees

Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
16th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Carved red and black lacquer
Dimensions:
H. 1 1/2 in. (3.7 cm); Diam. 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm)
Classification:
Lacquer
Credit Line:
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
Accession Number:
2015.500.1.46a, b
Not on view
The English name for this sweet summer fruit found only in Asia is derived from the Chinese lizhi. Lychees are understood to represent fertility and are also symbolic of love, romance, and virtues such as strength. Small boxes of this type, used to hold incense, were also produced in metal and porcelain.
[ Spink & Son Ltd. , London, until 1986; sold to Irving]; Florence and Herbert Irving , New York (1986–2015; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "East Asian Lacquer from the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection," November 22, 1991–February 23, 1992.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Irving Lacquers," 1998–2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Lacquer: An Introduction," December 4, 2007–May 11, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer," August 6, 2009–February 21, 2010.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Extravagant Display: Chinese Art in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," December 14, 2010–May 1, 2011.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Red and Black: Chinese Lacquer, 13th–16th Century," September 7, 2011–June 10, 2012.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer, 14th to 19th Century," June 15, 2016–October 9, 2017.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Streams and Mountains without End: Landscape Traditions of China," August 26, 2017–January 6, 2019.

Asian Art (35,454)