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Exhibitions/ Art Object
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Box with Camellias

Period:
Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)
Date:
13th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Carved red lacquer
Dimensions:
H. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm), Diam. 5 in. (12.7 cm)
Classification:
Lacquer
Credit Line:
Purchase, Barbara and Sorrell Mathes Gift, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.140a, b
Not on view
Small boxes of this type, which are preserved in Japan in some number, are often identified as incense boxes, for they were used as such during the tea ceremony. It seems likely that boxes of this type were also used in China to hold incense or other powdered substances such as cosmetics. The camellia spray on the cover is set against a plain background, a characteristic of early carved lacquers that would reemerge in the sixteenth century.
Inscription: "Shokaku-in" on the inside
[ Brian Harkins Oriental Art , London, until 2005; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Lacquer," July 18, 2005–November 14, 2005.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Lacquer: Painted and Carved," 2007.

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.

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