An image of Covered box decorated with lychee sprays

Unknown Artist

Covered box decorated with lychee sprays

Location
Not on display
Further information

The wooden body of this box has been covered in many layers of red lacquer and the design carved in relief. The technique has been used in China for centuries, while this particular shape derives from ceramic seal-paste containers. This box was purchased in Japan by a private collector, and thus is included here as an example of 'creative adaptation' ('mitate') by Japanese tea practitioners who would have used it as an incense box ('kogo') to contain the slithers of imported fragrant wood used to scent a room.

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.210.

Place of origin
China
Period
China: Ming dynasty 1368–1644, Jiajing 1522–1566
Year
late 16th century
Media
Lacquerware
Medium
carved cinnabar lacquer with black lacquer interior
Dimensions
3.6 x 7.0 cm
Credit
Purchased 1989
Accession number
339.1989