A RARE CARVED CINNABAR LACQUER CIRCULAR 'PEONY' BOX AND COVER YONGLE MARK AND PERIOD
A Yongle box similarly carved with three peony blooms in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, but much larger in size, is included in the exhibition Heguang ticai. Gugong zang qi/Carving the Subtle Radiance of Colors. Treasured Lacquerware in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2008, cat. no. 011, together with a Xuande example of large size and comparable design, cat. no. 012. See two other large boxes of similar design, dated to the early Ming dynasty, included in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum. Lacquer Wares of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, Hong Kong, 2006, plates 71 and 73.
Compare Yongle boxes of similar size and form, but carved on the cover with five peony blooms, such as one from the collection of H.M. King of Sweden, illustrated in Jan Wirgin, ‘Some Chinese Carved Lacquer of the Yuan and Ming Periods’, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, no. 44, 1972, pl. 11, no. 14; and another from the Edward T. Chow Collection, included in the exhibition One Man’s Taste. Treasures from the Lakeside Pavilion, Galleries of the Baur Collection, Geneva, 1988, cat. no. L11, and sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 3rd May 1994, lot 278.