Tea-bowl stand with phoenixes, Carved red lacquer, China

明永樂 剔紅鳳穿花盞托
Tea-bowl stand with phoenixes

Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Yongle period (1403–24)
Culture:
China
Medium:
Carved red lacquer
Dimensions:
H. 3 in. (7.6 cm); Diam. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm); Diam. of rim 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm); Diam. of foot 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)
Classification:
Lacquer
Credit Line:
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
Accession Number:
2015.500.1.35
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 221
Phoenixes are often associated with imperial women. The sharpness of the outlines and decoration on this tea-bowl stand is typical of works produced at court in the early fifteenth century. Lacquer stands of this type were used to hold ceramic bowls, following the tradition from the Song dynasty (960–1279).
Inscription: Inscribed: Da Ming Yongle nian zhi (made in the Yongle era of the great Ming)

大明永樂年製
[ Spink & Son Ltd. , London, until 1987; sold to Irving]; Florence and Herbert Irving , New York (1987–2015; 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. "Irving Lacquers," 1998–2000.

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: Painted and Carved," 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Asian Lacquer: Masterpieces from the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection," November 3, 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. "Spirited Creatures: Animal Representations in Chinese Silk and Lacquer," October 21, 2017–July 22, 2018.