Early Ming dynasty, late 1300s / early 1400s
This box is molded to resemble lacquered basketry—the cartouches on the sides representing finely woven panels separated by what would have been lacquer work. The top of the lid is molded with a design of a crane in flight among stylized clouds. The box is glazed overall, including the interior and the base, with an even-toned white glaze with a faint bluish tint. The glaze has a silky, flat sheen, almost having the appearance of marble. This piece was likely recovered from an underwater shipwreck site in the southern Philippines. Being many years underwater has contributed to the glaze texture and also to the preservation. Completely intact and in good condition. Purchased twenty years ago from a California collection.
Height: 2 ¾ in.; Width: 4 ¾ in.