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Purple Square Tray

Tags: art | craft

In the center of the plate is inlaid a pattern of landscape and gardens, in the center of which piles of mother-of-pearl are pieced together. The artisan uses tiny needles to draw up lines in parts of the mountain, stone, houses, and pine trunks. On the periphery of the center we can see geometrical patterns; around the edge of the mouth is decorated with diamond shape pattern. The entire vessel is filled up with black lacquer; through the diaphanous pieces of mother-of-pearl light is cast on the black lacquer bottom, producing a fluorescent effect mainly in purple, red and green. From the landscape and gardens pattern we can see delicate techniques producing a silhouette-like effect through the black lacquer and mother-of-pearl decoration. The style of this vessel belongs to lacquer ware tradition of Yangzhou.

National Museum of History