Chest for Storing Garments

Chest for Storing Garments



Lacquered wood with mother-of-pearl inlay

Overall: 43 x 56 x 54.7 cm (16 15/16 x 22 1/16 x 21 9/16 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1975.10

Did you know?

Lacquer chests of this type were used to store garments.


This precious lacquer box is decorated with bird and plant motifs and figures in mother-of-pearl inlay. The decoration depicts the leisurely pursuit of scholars in nature and a garden setting. Scholars play the board game weiqi, have philosophical conversations, pluck a qin (a zither-like instrument with strings), and read books.

Lacquer chests of this type were used to store garments neatly folded along their straight seams. The mother-of-pearl inlay from shells is a technique that was typically practiced by craftsmen in Hangzhou and other parts of southeast China near the sea.

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