An imperial polychrome lacquer 'anbaxian' box and cover Qianlong (2)

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Lot 184
An imperial polychrome lacquer 'anbaxian' box and cover
Qianlong

£ 2,000 - 3,000
US$ 2,500 - 3,700

Asian Art

23 Sep 2015, 10:30 BST

London, Knightsbridge

An imperial polychrome lacquer 'anbaxian' box and cover
Qianlong
The cover finely carved with a cinnabar red bamboo drum and rods and framed by a border of bats and clouds, the deep carving revealing a lighter shade of lacquer underneath, incised with two different geometrical diapers and key fret borders.
11cm (4 3/8in) wide (2).

Footnotes

  • The present lot is one of a set of eight boxes, each with decoration representing one of the Eight Daoist Immortals, that would have fitted inside a large peach-shaped 'chun' casket. Compare with the lower right hand box in an Imperial polychrome lacquer ware set, Qianlong, sold in Christie's Hong Kong, 30 November 2011, lot 3068. See another similar set, also complete with a comparable box, sold in Christie's New York, 21-22 March 2013, lot 1319.
    See another set held in the Shanghai Museum, but with nine red cinnabar lacquer boxes, illustrated in Zhongguo Qiqi Quanji, Vol. 6, Qing, Beijing, 1993, no. 219.

    The larger container box would have been in shape of a peach, a symbol of longevity, and would have been emblazoned with a large 春 character for 'spring', reinforcing wishes for everlasting youth. The present smaller box has the attributes of Zhang Guolao - the 'fish drum' and beaters - and in combination with the other seven Immortals also suggests wishes of long life. With the abundance of auspicious symbolism hidden in its design, the set would have been a particularly suitable gift for a special birthday celebration.
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An imperial polychrome lacquer 'anbaxian' box and cover Qianlong (2)
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