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Currently shown

Seal Box

Location

CHINA

Era

Qing dynasty (1644-1911), Qianlong period (1736-1795)

Title

Seal Box

Materials

Wood, carved lacquer (tihong)

Dimensions

2.9 cm (h.)

Credits

Adaline Van Horne Bequest, inv. 1944.Ed.26a-b

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

The cover of this box is adorned with a grasshopper (guoguo) resting on a branch, three daisies and a rock garden. In some dialects guo is a homonym of guan, which means official, while the Chinese word for daisy (ju) is a homophone of stay (ju). Put together, the grasshopper and daisy motifs allude to obtaining an official position of the highest level (guanju yipin). The carved design below the grasshopper and the flowers is typical of what is called brocade decoration (jinwen); that surface represents the earth.


This lacquer box was created using the tihong technique developed during the Song dynasty (960-1279). Multiple successive layers of red lacquer were applied to the base, then carved.

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