A tixi cinnabar lacquer circular box and cover. Ming Dynasty, 16th century.  Photo Christies Ltd 2011

The upper surface and sides of the cover deeply carved through alternating layers of black, red and yellow lacquer with ruyi scrolls, the base faintly incised with a three-character inscription reading Zhang Cheng zao, or made by Zhang Cheng; 3½ in. (9 cm.) diam. Estimate £8,000 - £12,000 ($13,368 - $20,052)

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art , 10 May 2011. London, King Street www.christies.com