MING DYNASTY, 16TH CENTURY
The lid of the covered box depicts a bearded foreigner wearing a belted tunic with long trailing sleeves and a dual-plumed fur-brimmed hat, who appears to be waving his arms at an up-turning lion, all amidst a landscape backdrop. The box details a carved foliate design of flowering gardenia branches above a rosette diaper ground.
A cinnabar lacquer covered box with similar style and composition is illustrated in One Man’s Taste: Treasures from the Lakeside Pavilion 14 October 1988 – 15 January 1989, Collections Baur, Geneva, p. 8, Catalogue No. L.21. A smaller example of a similar motif is published in Carving the Subtle Radiance of Colors: Treasured Lacquerware in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, 2008, p. 81, Catalogue No. 69.