J.J. Lally & Co., Oriental Art / New York City, New York

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A PARCEL-GILT SILVER ‘TWIN DUCKS’ BOX AND COVER
3.
A PARCEL-GILT SILVER ‘TWIN DUCKS’ BOX AND COVER

Late Tang / Five Dynasties, A.D. 9th – 10th Century

of rounded cushion shape, finely chased with a pair of ducks amidst dense foliage and flowers filling a borderless gilded roundel in the center of the domed cover, with three similar oval gilded reserves chased with exotic foliage evenly spaced around the edges of the cover and continuing down the straight sides and onto the edges of the base, the decoration freely drawn with stippling and fine line details and all brightly gilded, the burnished surface divided into three lobes by deep notches at the edges and straight grooves across the sides.of rounded cushion shape, finely chased with a pair of ducks amidst dense foliage and flowers filling a borderless gilded roundel in the center of the domed cover, with three similar oval gilded reserves chased with exotic foliage evenly spaced around the edges of the cover and continuing down the straight sides and onto the edges of the base, the decoration freely drawn with stippling and fine line details and all brightly gilded, the burnished surface divided into three lobes by deep notches at the edges and straight grooves across the sides.

Diameter 3 34 inches (9.5 cm)

Silver boxes of this large size surviving from the Tang dynasty are very rare, but many smaller examples are recorded, and ‘twin ducks’ was a popular Tang dynasty motif.

A small Tang silver cushion-shaped circular box and cover decorated with a pair of ducks and exotic foliage is illustrated by Kelley, Chinese Gold & Silver in American Collections: Tang Dynasty A.D. 618-907, Dayton, 1984, p. 71, no. 38, where the author comments: “The iconography of paired ducks and geese among blossoms is Indian in origin and can be found in the cave paintings at Ajanta. In China the duck was an emblem of felicity and as a pair represents conjugal fidelity.”

Additional Images (Touch to enlarge)

3.
A PARCEL-GILT SILVER ‘TWIN DUCKS’ BOX AND COVER

Late Tang / Five Dynasties, A.D. 9th – 10th Century

Diameter 3 34 inches (9.5 cm)

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