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Chinese Lacquer Boxes

November 21, 1998–June 1, 1999

Drawn from the Museum's permanent collections, this installation features decorated lacquer boxes from the Ming (1368–1644) and Ch'ing (1644–1911) dynasties. In China, such boxes served as storage containers holding documents, gifts, incense, cosmetics, jewelry, hairpins, or even medicinal herbs and minerals. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, lacquer boxes for tea, sewing implements, and games were popular items for trade to European and American markets. These elaborate items have been coveted for their beauty, as Chinese craftsman ornamented many of these receptacles with sumptuous designs painted in gold, delicate carvings, and mother-of-pearl inlay.

Main Building


Dr. Felice Fischer • Luther W. Brady Curator of Japanese Art, Acting Curator of East Asian Art
Adriana Proser • Research Associate

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