Period: Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Yongle period (1403–24)
Medium: Red lacquer with incised decoration inlaid with gold; damascened brass lock and key
Dimensions: H. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm); W. 5 in. (12.7 cm); L. 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase, Sir Joseph Hotung and The Vincent Astor Foundation Gifts, 2001
Accession Number: 2001.584a–c
Vigorous, sinewy dragons are frequently depicted on works produced during the reign of the Yongle emperor. Intended to hold a Buddhist text made in the Chinese handscroll format, elegant boxes like this one were produced for both use at the court and as diplomatic gifts, particularly to Tibet.