A rare and large carved cinnabar lacquer dish from the late Yuan/early Ming period will lead Sotheby’s sale of Important Chinese Art in London on May 10. It is one of the finest examples from the period when lacquer carving in China experienced its peak. According to Sotheby’s the sensitive, naturalistic rendering of the flowers, the complexity and harmony of the interwoven flower design, the craftsmanship and monumental dimensions are hard to surpass. The century or so from the late Yuan (1279-1368) to the early Ming dynasty (1368-1644) witnessed the evolution of the art of carved lacquer ware in south China from a decorative craft to a branch of imperially produced artefacts of the highest order, in parallel to a similar development of Chinese blue-and- white porcelain. Lacquer ware of this period is rarer than contemporary porcelain. It is estimated at £400,000-600,000.
The sale will showcase a selection of notable Chinese ceramics and works of art across the disciplines of imperial porcelain, lacquer, jade and Buddhist sculpture.