Round t'i-hsi lacquer box with cloud deco

Yuan dynasty (A.D. 1279--1368)
Diameter: 9 cm

This cylindrical box with a level top is covered in its entirety with a thick layer of black lacquer and has three identical patterns of cloud decor slant-carved into both the cover and the body. The design is graceful with rounded edges, and the lacquer is bright and lustrous. The inner edges of the designs reveal two very fine layers of red lacquer, like two pieces of red silk thread winding their way around in a sea of black. The Record of Decorative Lacquer (Hsiu Shih Lu) refers to this style as, "Vermilion thread in raven black," a technique quite popular in the Sung (A.D. 960--1279) and Yuan dynasties.

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