Art/ Collection/ Art Object

中國 清 黑漆嵌螺鈿博古圖碟
Dish with Antiquities

Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
mid-17th–early 18th century
Black lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay
W. 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm); L. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Florence and Herbert Irving, 2015
Accession Number:
Not on view
The phrase inlaid into the bottom of this small dish reads “for the delectation of the jade hall” (yuntang jiawan), indicating that it was a private commission. This inscription alludes to the collection of the infamous Ming-dynasty Prime Minister Yan Song (1480–1566). Because of his greed and lack of scruples, Yan was able to amass an astonishing collection of antiquities. In an ironic transformation, he instead became known as an icon of good taste in later ages.
Inscription: The mark on the back of the dish reads: Yutang jiawan 玉堂佳玩 (For delectation of the Jade Hall)
Florence and Herbert Irving , New York (until 2015; donated to MMA)
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