A Large & Interesting Ryukuan or Chinese Lacquer Tray. 17/18th. Century
15 1/2 x 12 3/4 ins. (39.3 x 32.4 cms) We bought this tray at Christies, London many years ago. It is a rather puzzling piece. The heavily crackled lacquer ground normally indicates great age and we considered the possibility that the design was added to an much older tray. On the other hand to lacquer on this heavily crackled ground would not have been easy and, perhaps, not even possible without the lacquer lifting or detaching.
The style is very much that of the Ryukyu Islands, a culture that was a mixture of Chinese and Japanese influences at various times in its history. The coloured lacquers and "impasto" effect of the rocks is very Ryukyuan but the tone of the gold on the edge of the tray would normally indicate a Chinese origin. We have been rather cautious with the dating and it may well be earlier than we have indicated. The condition is good, there are no repairs but the expected bruises and dings, particularly on the edges. There is one small flake of lacquer missing from the reverse (see photos). Please inspect the photos carefully.
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