A very rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer 'one hundred boys' rectangular box and cover, with a very rare carved cinnabar lacquer 'boys' inkstone box and cover Both 16th century
Lot 77
A very rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer 'one hundred boys' rectangular box and cover, with a very rare carved cinnabar lacquer 'boys' inkstone box and cover
Both 16th century
Sold for HK$ 3,160,000 (US$ 407,679) inc. premium

Lot Details
A very rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer 'one hundred boys' rectangular box and cover, with a very rare carved cinnabar lacquer 'boys' inkstone box and cover Both 16th century A very rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer 'one hundred boys' rectangular box and cover, with a very rare carved cinnabar lacquer 'boys' inkstone box and cover Both 16th century A very rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer 'one hundred boys' rectangular box and cover, with a very rare carved cinnabar lacquer 'boys' inkstone box and cover Both 16th century A very rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer 'one hundred boys' rectangular box and cover, with a very rare carved cinnabar lacquer 'boys' inkstone box and cover Both 16th century A very rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer 'one hundred boys' rectangular box and cover, with a very rare carved cinnabar lacquer 'boys' inkstone box and cover Both 16th century A very rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer 'one hundred boys' rectangular box and cover, with a very rare carved cinnabar lacquer 'boys' inkstone box and cover Both 16th century A very rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer 'one hundred boys' rectangular box and cover, with a very rare carved cinnabar lacquer 'boys' inkstone box and cover Both 16th century A very rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer 'one hundred boys' rectangular box and cover, with a very rare carved cinnabar lacquer 'boys' inkstone box and cover Both 16th century
A very rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer 'one hundred boys' rectangular box and cover, with a very rare carved cinnabar lacquer 'boys' inkstone box and cover
Both 16th century
The top of the cover exquisitely carved depicting a multitude of boys in various leisurely pursuits, including a few swimming in a lotus pond beneath a bridge, others beneath a pavilion and gathered in front of a screen playing instruments, surrounding one boy with a puppet, another group in procession with some carrying banners or parasols, one riding a hobby-horse and another dressed as a lion at the rear, two boys stand playing kites while others watch near the top, all within a terraced courtyard, with osmanthus trees growing above the pavilion, the sides of the box and cover decorated with flowering leafy prunus branches, the interior lacquered black, 42.2cm high x 20.4cm wide; the smaller box and cover finely carved on top in relief with boys in various leisurely pursuits within a terraced courtyard, beside a pavilion and tall pine trees, all reserved on an intricate diaper ground, the sides with flowering leafy prunus branches, the interior lacquered black and fitted with a rectangular black coloured inkstone and a small metal water pot, 27cm high x 15.2cm wide.
(4).

Footnotes

  • 明十六世紀 剔紅嬰戲圖長方大蓋盒及剔紅嬰戲圖蓋盒

    Provenance 來源:
    The Collection of Mr Okura, Okura Oil, by repute
    Mr Kenzo Hasegawa (1886-1957), founder of the Kaisendo Museum, circa late 1940s
    Kaisendo Museum, Yamagata
    大倉先生舊藏(傳)
    長谷川賢三(1886-1957),蟹仙洞博物館創始人,約1940年代
    山形縣蟹仙洞博物館藏

    Both boxes are extremely rare and provide a wealth of auspicious meanings. The design of boys at play or 'hundred boys', baizi tu, is frequently depicted in Chinese art, and presents the wish, 'May you have many sons'. In addition to the depiction of many boys, specific activities or objects held provide particular meanings and blessings. For instance:
    Boys carrying lotus blooms provide the rebus 'may you continuously give birth to distinguished sons', those playing with a lotus mean 'may your descendants live in harmony'. Boys flying a kite provide the wish 'may you have a successful career and rise in rank', zhishang qingyun. The osmanthus tree, guiha in Chinese, is a symbol for distinguished sons or guizi.

    Not only auspicious in its meaning, the 'hundred boys' motif is particularly difficult to achieve on lacquer and thus quite rare. To carve such a multitude of small figures with intricate details, such as on the present boxes and covers, would have required an exceptionally high level of skill.

    A box and cover decorated with the same auspicious motif, but of 17th/18th century date and incised with a Qianlong mark, is in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, illustrated in Carving the Subtle Radiance of Colors, Treasured Lacquerware in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 1997, p.94, pl.84. A comparable exceptionally carved 'hundred boys' lacquer screen, dated Ming Dynasty, 16th century, in the private collection of Helen and Peter Lin is illustrated by Peter Y.K. Lam ed., 2000 Years of Chinese Lacquer, Hong Kong, 1993, pp.140-141, pl.72.

    剔紅嬰戲圖長方大蓋盒碩大,蓋盒厚度相同。木胎,通體髹朱漆,內填黑漆。以天、地、水紋代表場境,上壓雕亭台樓閣嬰戲圖,五十三位童孩分為十二組,三五成群,有送迎的,有畫畫的,有放風箏的;有舞獅騎馬唱遊的,有奏樂玩木偶表演的;有撲蝶的,有摔跤的,有玩陀螺的;有釣魚的,有採蓮的,有游泳的,有摘花的,活潑可愛,熱鬧非常。題材豐富但不使構圖雜亂,雕匠巧妙地以樹木盤景、樓閣欄柵分隔童孩,層次分明,嚴謹配置。其雕工厚實,但仍清楚交代細節,如獅頭上的層層毛髮、童孩的衣紋褶疊等,既保持景物一種圓潤的感覺,又表現出質感細膩,富立體感。蓋及盒之四邊以錦地梅花紋為主,枝杆從盒邊上下伸出,各有姿態,配合梅花開合朵朵,充滿動感。

    剔紅嬰戲圖蓋盒盒木胎,通體髹朱漆,內填黑漆,平底。蓋面天、地錦紋上壓雕亭台樓閣嬰戲圖,共二十二人,分為六組,在庭園間有的穿上戲曲服飾唱跳、有的相爭花卉、有的圍坐耍玩、有的在亭樓內持琴觀望、有的下棋、有的舞動茅刀,好不熱鬧。雕匠以欄柵為界,表現出庭園一角,又以太湖石及蕉樹,表現出庭內景物,與亭樓外之松樹相互呼應,構成張力,帶動觀者由上而下欣賞圖中細節,精心佈局,美不勝收。盒四邊飾錦地梅花紋,同樣保持高水平之雕工,難能可貴。盒內現配日本小壺及硯台。

    剔紅嬰戲圖套盒的例子不多,可參考台北國立故宮博物院藏剔紅嬰戲二層套盒,見《和光剔采-故宮藏漆》,台北,2008,頁94,圖版084。該蓋盒定為十七/十八世紀,原作收藏銅印之用。盒蓋上雕百子在庭院間戲玩,各式各樣,題材及描繪手法與本拍品類同。有關漆器上之嬰戲圖比較,可參考Helen 及 Peter Lin珍藏之剔紅雕嬰戲長方托,見 Peter Y.K. Lam 編.《2000 Years of C hinese Lacquer》,香港,1993,頁140-141,圖版72。該件為十六世紀之器,人物活動刻劃細緻,與本拍品相近。
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