For an identical Qianlong reign-marked covered box, see the example in the Tokyo National Museum, illustrated in Oriental Lacquer Arts, Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, 1977, no. 585. A smaller unmarked cinnabar-lacquer covered box, decorated with boys at play, was sold in these rooms, 25th April 2004, lot 324.
The decoration on the surface is intricately rendered, a highly auspicious profusion of fortuitous symbols emblematic of happiness, prosperity and longevity, including wan symbols, bats and lingzhi. The four-character expression Wandai shenghe ('Double Lozenge Box of Myriad Generations') celebrates future fecundity. The Qianlong artisans have skilfully taken the double-lozenge shaped box from the Jiajing period, with its auspicious, yet more austerely rendered decoration of a dragon and phoenix in more restrained colours, and created a sumptuously decorated and exuberant version abundant in images and emblems fashionable at the Qianlong court.
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