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Polychrome lacquer box

Polychrome lacquer box
Ryukyu Islands
Edo period,18th century

The four sides profusely carved with a solid ground of flowering peony (representing honour and prosperity) above a “greek key” border highlighted in gold. The top appliquéd with stylised Eriobotrya japonica (Japanese plum) and butterflies over an impressed swastika background washed in gold.

Christies, New York, Sale 8334, 10th January 1996, lot 31 “The Collections of Sir John Pope-Hennessy” (label affixed to underside). Pope-Hennessy was former director of both the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum.

Compare with a tray of similar design and technique in Derek Clifford, Chinese Carved Lacquer, 1992, Bamboo Publishing, London, plate 130.

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