Gold lacquer over pewter, inlaid with mother-of-pearl
H. (incl. handle) 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm); W. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Not on view
While lacquer on metal is an aspect of the revival of metalworking in China during the seventeenth century, the combination of thin, tinted pieces of mother-of-pearl with gold foil derives from refinements in lacquer technology that can be dated somewhat earlier, to the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. An inscription on the base of this pot indicates that it was produced by, or under the supervision of, an artist named Shang Yiliang. Although details of his identity remain unclear, Shang is one of a handful of metal artists who signed their works. It is reasonable to assume that his work was well regarded, and probably collected, during his lifetime.
Signature: Shang Yiliang Zao
Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer , New York (until d. 1929; bequeathed to MMA)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mother-of-Pearl: A Tradition in Asian Lacquer," December 2, 2006–April 1, 2007.