Sutra box with dragons amid clouds, Red lacquer with incised decoration inlaid with gold; damascened brass lock and key, China

明永樂 紅漆戧金雲龍紋經箱
Sutra box with dragons amid clouds

Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Yongle period (1403–24)
Culture:
China
Medium:
Red lacquer with incised decoration inlaid with gold; damascened brass lock and key
Dimensions:
H. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm); W. 5 in. (12.7 cm); L. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Classification:
Lacquer
Credit Line:
Purchase, Sir Joseph Hotung and The Vincent Astor Foundation Gifts, 2001
Accession Number:
2001.584a–c
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 221
Vigorous, sinewy dragons are frequently depicted on works produced during the reign of the Yongle emperor. Intended to hold a Buddhist text made in the Chinese album format, luxurious boxes like this one were made for use at court.
#7328. Sutra Box with Dragon
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit metmuseum.org/audioguide.
[ C. T. Loo & Co. , Paris, 1978]; [ A & J Speelman Ltd. , London, 1998–2001; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Defining Yongle, Imperial Art in Early Fifteenth-Century China," April 1, 2005–July 10, 2005.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Lacquer," July 18, 2005–November 14, 2005.

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. "Red and Black: Chinese Lacquer, 13th–16th Century," September 7, 2011–June 10, 2012.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Introduction to Chinese Lacquer," December 11, 2013–July 6, 2014.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sumptuous: East Asian Lacquer, 14th–20th Century," October 25, 2014–August 9, 2015.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Spirited Creatures: Animal Representations in Chinese Silk and Lacquer," October 21, 2017–July 22, 2018.