Qing Dynasty, 18th Century
The lacquer altar ornament is composed of a lotus medallion which rests above a tiered lotus petal plinth set on a scrolling foliate stem and tapered base. The emblem is carved out of three-coloured lacquer, red being the dominant colour, with green and ochre-coloured yellow layers beneath. The lotus, one of the Eight Auspicious symbols (or Ashtamangala in Sanskrit) of Buddhist iconography, symbolizes purification and the full blossoming of good deeds.
The Collection of Derek Clifford
Lacquer from the Collection of Derek Clifford, Spink November 1999, Catalogue No. 28
Clifford, Derek. Carved Chinese Lacquer, London, 1992, p. 124, plate 97
The altar emblem is the only example in lacquer known to exist. However, a porcelain example of a full set of eight emblems was previously sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, 29th October 2001, lot 607