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)
[ Spink & Son Ltd. , London, until 1991; sold to Irving] ; Florence and Herbert Irving , New York (1991–2015; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "East Asian Lacquer from the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection," November 22, 1991–February 23, 1992.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Irving Lacquers," 1998–2000.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Lacquer," July 18, 2005–November 14, 2005.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mother-of-Pearl: A Tradition in Asian Lacquer," December 2, 2006–April 1, 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Chinese Lacquer: An Introduction," December 4, 2007–May 11, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Extravagant Display: Chinese Art in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," December 14, 2010–May 1, 2011.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Introduction to Chinese Lacquer," December 11, 2013–July 6, 2014.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sumptuous: East Asian Lacquer, 14th–20th Century," October 25, 2014–August 9, 2015.

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