A carved red lacquer box with dragons
Diameter: 6 7/8 in, 17.5 cm
of circular form, with straight sides and a recessed base. The cover is finely carved with three two-horned, five-clawed, scaly dragons about a flaming pearl amid swirling, crested waves that partly cover the animals’ bodies, all enclosed by a narrow border of key-fret. The sides of both the box and cover are carved with a hexagonal rosette diaper. The interior and base are lacquered black.
A similar square box is illustrated in Mei and Tao, Gems of Beijing Cultural Relics Series: Works of Decorative Arts I, no. 15, p. 62.
For red lacquer boxes with related decoration, see Carved Lacquer in the Collection of the Palace Museum, no. 310; Frick, Chinesische Lackkunst: Eine deutsche Privatsammlung, no. 53, p. 104; and Kopplin, Museum für Lackkunst, no. 12, pp. 102–03.