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A black lacquer box and cover. Ming dynasty, 16th century

of rectangular section, the cover freely carved with a large peony bloom on leafy and slender budding stems, the petals and fleshy leaves incised to render veining, surrounded by smaller blooms, tight and opening buds, the box similary decorated with luxuriant peony blooms surrounded by a meander of stems and a profusion of foliage and buds, the interiors and base lacquered deep brown. 19.5 cm., 7 5/8 in. Estimate 80,000—120,000 HKD

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. 08 Apr 09. Hong Kong www.sothebys.com photo courtesy Sotheby's