A dated basketwork and polychrome lacquer tray

明萬曆乙卯   編竹邊描金漆長方盤

The tray is of rectangular form with slightly indented corners. The main field, of conforming shape, is decorated in miaojin (“gold-traced”) technique combined with litharge pigments on an overall rich red ground with a scene of a banner-waving horseman galloping out from among rocks with a distant pavilion beyond, towards a pair of officials seated at a table on a rocky plateau with wutong trees, attended to by their four servants. The cavetto of the tray is decorated on the inside in gold on a dark-brown ground with shaped panels of flowers on a hatched ground, and on the outside is revealed the fine bamboo basketware construction. The base is undecorated, inscribed in the centre in two columns 萬曆乙卯 Wanli yimao (corresponding to 1615) and 徐静軒贈 Xu Jingxuan zeng (“gifted by Xu Jingxuan”).

MD Flacks Ltd
J.J. Lally & Co.

For a polychrome lacquer tray made in the same year of Wanli, 1615, with a scene depicting a dignitary presenting wine to an arriving scholar, also set in a background of rocks and trees, see Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 30th October 1991, lot 343.  Another similar tray, from the Tianqi period, with a date corresponding to 1624, from the collection of Sir Harry and Lady Garner, is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and is illustrated by R. Soame Jenyns and William Watson in Chinese Art. Gold, Silver, Later Bronzes, Cloisonné, Cantonese Enamels, Lacquer, Furniture, Wood, no. 140 and discussed on p. 88. The authors suggest an area of manufacture in the south of China.

Dimensions: Length: 45.6 cm, 18 inches; Width 28.8 cm, 11⅜ inches

Date: Ming dynasty, Wanli mark and period, dated to yimao year, 1615

Price: On Request