Lychee-decorated vessels of this type belong to a distinct group of carved lacquer in which the surfaces of fruit, particularly lychee, were decorated with diapers previously employed for the background of decorative scenes. Compare a pair of similarly decorated bowls, related in form to the cup of the present piece, included in the exhibition Im Zeichen des Drachen
, Museum für Lackkunst, Munster, 2006, cat. no. 60; and another bowl sold in our London rooms, 8th December 1992, lot 26. For small boxes carved with branches of lychee of this type, see a circular example in the Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in 200 Objects You Should Know. Carved Lacquerware
, Beijing, 2008, pl. 41; another sold in these rooms, 4th April 2012, lot 3011; and a cylindrical example included in the exhibition East Asian Lacquer. The Florence and Herbert Irving Collection
, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1991, cat. no. 40.
The close dialogue between workshops that specialised in different materials is evident in the frequent appearance of decorative motifs and forms in a variety of media; for example see a small cylindrical jade box carved with lychees similar to Irving box, from the Zhirouzhai collection, included in the exhibition Chinese Jades from Han to Ch'ing, Asia House Gallery, New York, 1980, cat. no. 115.