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Cinnabar Lacquer Box (with the cover)

Creation date: 1644-1911
Creation place: China

Other Information

Type: Lacquer Box
Medium and Support: Lacquered wood
Credit Line: Gift of Josephine Seaman
Accession Number: 1933.13.1-2
Dimensions: 5 3/4 in. x 15 1/4 in. x 15 1/4 in. (14.61 cm x 38.74 cm x 38.74 cm)
Currently on view


Josephine Seaman, ( - 1933)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (1933 - )

Label Copy

Carved lacquer began in the twelfth century mostly with “sword-pommel” designs, and later adapted designs from ceramics, textile, and paintings, including animals, plants, flowers, and clouds, which appear on the cover and borders of this object. This box is covered with various styles of a single character, ‘longevity’ (shou in Chinese). In the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), such boxes were intended for conveyance of gifts, and would be returned to the sender. The servant who delivered the box would receive a small present or tip for his service. Although this piece is not ancient, such a sizable box is probably meant to keep as a treasure box or family heirloom.

Last Updated: 4/6/2018


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Official Art Exhibition of the California Pacific International Exposition Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego , 5/29/1935 - 11/11/1935

Art of East Asia: China The San Diego Museum of Art , 1/24/2013 - 00/00/00


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Illustrated Catalogue: Official Art Exhibition of the San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1935
Page Number: 4, no. 39

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