Exhibitions/ Art Object
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Box with “Peach Blossom Grotto”

Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
17th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Black lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay
Dimensions:
H. 3 in. (7.6 cm); W. 9 in. (22.9 cm); L. 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm)
Classification:
Lacquer
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 2006
Accession Number:
2006.181a, b
Not on view
Three Chinese characters incised on a rectangular piece of pearl shell at the upper left identify the scene on the lid of this box as the “peach blossom grotto” (tao yu dong). The phrase refers to a famous poem by Tao Qian (365–427) that describes the travels of a fisherman who enters such a grotto and stumbles upon a paradisiacal Shangri-La. As is invariably the case with such magical realms,
he is never able to return once he leaves.
#7403: Box with "Peach Blossom Grotto"
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#9726: Kids: Box with "Peach Blossom Grotto"
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For Audio Guide tours and information, visit metmuseum.org/audioguide.
Private collection , Japan (sold in the1990s, through Mayuyama, Tokyo, to Kaikodo) ; [ Kaikodo LLC , New York; 1990s–2006; sold to MMA]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mother-of-Pearl: A Tradition in Asian Lacquer," December 2, 2006–April 1, 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. "Red and Black: Chinese Lacquer, 13th–16th Century," September 7, 2011–June 10, 2012.

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