元末明初 黑漆嵌螺鈿梅鵲紋委角長方盤 Tray with Flowering Plum and Birds
Yuan (1271–1368)–Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
late 14th century
Black lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay
H. 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm); W. 11 3/4 in. (29.8 cm); L. 24 3/8 in. (61.9 cm)
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
Not on view
The wonderful flowering plum tree and two plump birds that fill the center of this tray illustrate the skillful manipulation of shapes and colors of the inlaid motherof-pearl to create a powerful, dramatic scene. Long narrow pieces of iridescent shell define the rock terrain, while irregular pieces form the clump of rocks in front of the trunk of the flowering plum. Fragments of mother-of-pearl create the craggy trunk of the ancient tree, which bears buds in several stages of flowering.