A distinct group of extraordinarily fine carved lacquers known as “two bird” dishes were produced in China during the Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368). Based upon the method of carving and construction, this example is believed to date from the first half of the fourteenth century. During this time black lacquer was deeply carved to expose a background of ocher lacquer below a thin layer of red lacquer. This tray was originally owned by Buddhist monks and later used by tea ceremony enthusiasts in Japan.
Artist Chinese
  • Tray with Design of Cranes and Chrysanthemums
Date between 1300 and 1350
Medium Lacquer on wood
Dimensions Overall: 1 1/2 × 11 1/2 inches (3.8 × 29.2 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Stoddard Fund for Asian Art and funds from the Gerald W. Chamberlin Foundation, Inc.
Accession Number 80.25
Department Asian Art
Not On View
Klaus F. Naumann;
1980-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
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