Chinese Lacquer Storage Box

(inclusive of taxes)

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This item cannot be shipped outside India.


Size: 11.75 x 11.5 x 8 inches
Material: Lacquer and Bamboo
Condition: Minor Chips in Lacquer


This is a Chinese red, black and gold lacquerware storage box. On the black lid is etched a nobleman, with a man behind him holding a layered cloth umbrella. Beside them is a white heron or crane. These birds play an important role in Chinese mythology. In Chinese culture, the crane is venerated as the prince of all feathered creatures and thus has a legendary status. Embodying longevity and peace, it is the second most favoured bird symbol after the phoenix. On the top is Chinese script (possibly mandarin or traditional Chinese) detailing the master craftsman’s name. Around the edges are scrollwork designs and floral designs. The gold floral designs continue around the sides on a black background. Breaking this up are three bands of red lacquer, where the layers have not been built up as much, so the woven bamboo is still visible, adding a textual layer to the design. This also shows just how many layers of lacquer, each of which has to be slowly dried and polished before another can be added, has been done on the black areas.
The earliest Chinese lacquerware yet discovered, dates to the Late Neolithic period (3rd millennium BCE) and comes from the Hemudu site in the lower Yangtse region. Production of lacquerware continued into the Bronze Age of the 2nd millennium BCE when it began to be traded to other areas of China which did not have the Rhus Vernicefera tree. This tree, which was native to eastern and southern China, has the sap used to make the lacquer.