Lot 49. A finely carved 'tixi' lacquer box and cover, Yuan-Ming dynasty. Diameter 4 3/8 in., 11.2 cm. Estimate 30,000 — 50,000 USD. Lot sold 37,500 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.
of circular form, the cover and sides of the box deeply carved through the alternating layers of red, black, green and yellow lacquer with ruyi scrolls, the interiors and base applied with plain black lacquer, Japanese wood box (3).
Provenance: Private Japanese Collection.
Note: The carved design on the current box, known as tixi or the Japanese term, guri (curves and circles), was a pattern established towards the end of the Song dynasty. The design on the current box, where the geometric design is made up mainly of detached ruyi motifs gained popularity from the Yuan dynasty onwards.
See two tixi lacquer boxes, also dated Yuan/Ming dynasty, of similar form and closely related design, one in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, published in Hai-wai Yi-chen. Chinese Art in Overseas Collections. Lacquerware, Taipei, 1987, pl. 73; and the other included in the exhibition East Asian Lacquer. The Florence and Herbert Irving Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1991, cat. no. 11.
Compare the tixi lacquer box and cover sold in our London rooms, 16th May 2012, lot 68; and another, of larger size (8 3/8 in., 21.3 cm), sold in these rooms, 16th-17th September 2014, lot 546.
Sotheby's. Monochrome, New York, 15 sept. 2015