A yellow lacquer 'cranes' tray. Photo Sotheby's

of lozenge shape with shallow rounded sides, the centre of conforming shape plainly lacquered in brown, framed by a wide yellow-ochre border containing five cranes in flight amidst densly swirling ruyi-shaped clouds, deeply carved through to the red ground, the exterior similarly decorated with six cranes in flight, the base lacquered in brown and framed by the low foot; 29.6 cm., 11 5/8 in. Estimate 1,200,000-1,500,000 HKD. Lot 3149 unsold.

NOTE DE CATALOGUE: In its form and decoration the present tray is unusual, although a cinnabar lacquer tray of similar diamond shape, the cavetto finely carved with images of sixteen seated arhats within grottos surrounded by trees and plants, and the main body of the tray similarly left plain, from the collection of the Hirase Family in Osaka, was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 26th April 2004, lot 1105. A plain brown lacquer tray of this distinctive shape with bracket lobes is illustrated in Hai-Wai Yi-Chen. Chinese Art in Overseas Collections. Lacquerware, Taipei, 1987, pl. 90, from the collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

Sotheby's. British & Irish Art. Londres | 10 mai 2012, 02:00 PM www.sothebys.com