Box with chi dragons amid clouds, Carved black, red, and yellow lacquer, China

南宋 剔黑雲螭紋漆盒
Box with chi dragons amid clouds

Period:
Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)
Date:
13th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Carved black, red, and yellow lacquer
Dimensions:
H. 3 in (7.6 cm); Diam. 9 5/8 in. (24.4 cm)
Classification:
Lacquer
Credit Line:
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
Accession Number:
2015.500.1.4a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 221
Known as chi, the feline dragons that curve along the surface of this box were inspired by comparable creatures found on Bronze Age vessels, which were rediscovered during the Song dynasty and often reinterpreted in the arts of that period. Although they lack the large horns, prominent snouts, and scaled body of the typical Chinese depiction of the dragon, chi dragons are also regarded as auspicious and protective.
[ Klaus F. Naumann , Tokyo, until 1988; sold to Irving]; Florence and Herbert Irving , New York (1988–2015; donated to MMA}
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "East Asian Lacquer from the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection," November 22, 1991–February 23, 1992.

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

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. "Chinese Lacquer: Treasures from the Irving Collection, 12th–18th Century," August 15, 2015–June 19, 2016.

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

Asian Art (35,454)