Rectangular box with lid

Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, 16th century or later
Carved paste with black and red lacquer on wood core in imitation of carved marbled lacquer (tixi)
H x W x D: 17.2 x 8.3 x 46.5 cm (6 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 18 5/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Container, Lacquer


China, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)
Provenance research underway.

This box demonstrates the tixi technique, in which alternating layers of red and black lacquer create a thick surface on a wood core. Carving reveals thin hidden bands of contrasting colors that produce a rich optical effect. By the fourteenth century, this time-consuming process was mostly used to decorate small objects, such as this box for a scholar's writing table.

Published References
  • Lee Yu-kuan. Oriental Lacquer Art., 1st ed. New York. p. 119.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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