An extremely rare large cinnabar lacquer 'flowers' scroll-rest Early Ming Dynasty, 15th century
Lot 76
An extremely rare large cinnabar lacquer 'flowers' scroll-rest
Early Ming Dynasty, 15th century
Sold for HK$ 5,320,000 (US$ 686,425) inc. premium
Lot Details
An extremely rare large cinnabar lacquer 'flowers' scroll-rest
Early Ming Dynasty, 15th century
The long top with two concave rounded recessions for placing scrolls, each deeply carved through layers of red lacquer depicting exquisite naturalistic flower blooms borne on undulating leafy vines, including peony, camellia, gardenia, pomegranate blossom, hibiscus, chrysanthemum, and peach blossom, with a narrow band of lingzhi scrolls in the middle, the sides similarly decorated and the large concave base also carved with further large blooms, Japanese wood box.
62.3cm long (2).

Footnotes

  • 明早期 十五世紀 剔紅牡丹靈芝花卉紋雙連軸台

    Provenance 來源:
    Mr Kenzo Hasegawa (1886-1957), founder of the Kaisendo Museum, circa 1950
    Kaisendo Museum, Yamagata
    長谷川賢三(1886-1957),蟹仙洞博物館創始人,約1950
    山形縣蟹仙洞博物館藏

    The style of carving as seen on the current lot is typical of the early Ming period where the textures of the stems, leaves and flower heads are depicted in a lively manner, with subtle folds and curled edges. Such detailing gives a further sense of movement and vigour. Compare similarly-carved peonies blossoms on a dish, Yongle period, in the Palace Museum Beijing, illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Lacquer Wares of the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, Hong Kong, 2006, pp.54-55, pl.36. For comparable chrysanthemums on a lacquer dish, 15th century, in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Carving the Subtle Radiance of Colors, Treasured Lacquerware in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1997, p.36, pl.17, is also very similarly carved.

    The present scroll-rest joins a rare group of lacquer wares in which floral design on the main decorative surface is rendered with various flowers rather than just a single one. Carved cinnabar lacquer boxes and dishes with floral decoration, dated to the early Ming period in the National Palace Museum, illustrated in ibid, pp.24-45, pls. 17-26, are all carved only with a single species of flower. A comparable very rare box and cover decorated with various flower types, but Hongwu period (1368-1398), was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, Important Chinese Lacquer from the Lee Family Collection, Part III, 28 November 2012, lot 2092.

    Lacquer scroll rests are very rare. A carved cinnabar lacquer scroll rest, but with only one tray and decorated with peonies, is in the Muwen Tang collection, illustrated by Simon Kwan, Chinese Lacquer, Hong Kong, 2010, p.176-177, pl.46. The current lot appears to be unique and is extremely rare in having two scroll-rest sections.

    軸台呈瓦坑形,雙軸台心,周身以剔紅技法壓雕紋飾,台面雕飾五組纏枝牡丹、菊花及杜鵑花卉紋,雙軸連接處及軸台兩端一側則雕飾花葉靈芝紋,台面及台座兩側亦雕飾相對應之花卉紋飾,腰部則飾迴紋一周,台底亦作瓦坑形,表面雕飾五組纏枝牡丹花卉。漆層渾厚,刀工嫻熟,打磨圓潤,葉肉及花瓣雕刻肥厚敦實,略有元代遺風。

    此器上雕之俯仰花卉紋層次豐富,錯落有致,佈局飽滿,線條柔和,其形式與清宮舊藏之明永樂剔紅牡丹花圓盤相同,見《故宮博物院藏文物珍品全集:元明漆器》,香港,2006,頁54-55,圖版36。兩者之花葉大小比例一致,空間感相近,每葉瓣上之刻劃細膩,雕刻、打磨以致藝術風格上如出一轍。另可與台北國立故宮博物院藏明永樂剔紅牡丹圓盒比例,除盒面上之牡丹花紋姿態及雕工相近外,其側面作轉枝花卉,波浪狀枝葉,間隔俯仰牡丹、菊花、梔子花等,裝飾手法與本拍品一致,屬高水平之作,見《和光剔采-故宮藏漆》,台北,2008,頁30-31,圖版011。

    明代漆工藝的活躍與明王室對漆器的推崇與重視有著直接關係。為了滿足宮廷內外對生漆工藝品需求,專門設立了生產製作御用漆器的官辦機構。宮廷內官監下設 「油漆作」,御用監所屬「漆作」都承做漆工活計。明初的統治者比較喜歡雕漆,除了大量製作用來滿足宮廷需要,還把它們當作貴重禮品贈送國外。明代永樂皇帝對雕漆情有獨鍾,不但自己珍賞,根據《明太宗實錄》卷二十四中記載,還先後在永樂元年(1403年)、永樂四年(1406年)、永樂五年(1407年)數次將雕漆作為貴重禮品頒賜給日本國王妃。承放畫軸之文房用具依其使用性質之不同,可概分為軸盒、軸台及軸筒三類,軸台以長方承盤為常式,兼可承置文房長物。本拍品之底座皆刻上豐富花卉紋,不亞於其正面,提示出可反轉作安放卷軸較大的書畫作之用。
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