Lot 172. A tixi carved black and red lacquer cinquefoil box and cover, early Ming dynasty, 15th century; 11½ in. (29.2 cm.) across. Estimate USD 40,000 - USD 50,000. Price realised USD 48,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2007
In the form of a five-petalled prunus blossom, the flat top carved through the black and two red layers with a central floret encircled by five jianhuan sword pommel scrolls positioned above small dots, surrounded by a row of ten similar scrolls and another row of fifteen larger scrolls on the rounded shoulder, the upright sides of the cover carved with abbreviated pommel scrolls, repeated on the sides of the box above a further band of pommel scrolls, raised on a shallow foot, the lacquer on the interior of brown color.
Exhibited: On loan: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1982 - 2006, no. L.82.19.
Note: Tixi is the term for carved black and red layered lacquer. A very similar tixilacquer box of the same prunus blossom form dated to the Ming dynasty, 15th century, was included in the exhibition, Chugoku no shikkogei(Chinese Lacquer Art), Shoto Museum of Art, Shibuya, Tokyo, 17 September - 4 November 1991, p. 33, pl. 27. The same style of carving can also be seen on a tixi black lacquer box of octagonal shape, dated 14th-15th century, in the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection illustrated by James C. Watt and Barbara B. Ford, East Asian Lacquer, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1991, pl. 57, no. 12. .
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, New York, 22 March 2007