Large Chinese Export Coromandel Lacquer Screen

GBP 3,650.00

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Object Description

A superbly decorative six-panel lacquered ‘Coromandel’ screen, exquisitely carved and hand-painted with oriental figures, flowers and exotic beasts on a dark brown background, in the traditional 17th century manner. 
China, Canton, Qing dynasty, late 19th – early 20th century.

Why we like it
We like its impressive proportions which make it perfect for a feature wall, and the exquisite quality of decoration. The subtlety of colours lends a ‘soft’ look to the piece. The central motif depicts a scene set in the gardens of a Han dynasty palace, while the outer borders are decorated with the “one hundred antiques” motif interspersed with floral arrangements. In this regard, the present screen not only conveys auspicious meanings but also demonstrate the owner’s fine scholarly taste.

Object History

The term ‘Coromandel’, which is used to describe this particular type of lacquer technique (kuancai), is rather misleading. In the 18th century it was used commercially to indicate the place from which these objects were shipped to England through the East India Companies, and had no reference to China, the place of their origin. Similarly, Chinese painted wallpaper was often called ‘India paper’ in historic documants.

The kuancai lacquer technique, literally meaning “cut out colour” and found almost exclusively on screens, emerged in the 16th century to serve the domestic market. The iconographic elements were carved through the built-up coats of dark lacquer and filled with pigments and gold. Seventeenth century examples usually consisted of twelve panels, and were often employed in entrance halls or as room dividers or windscreens for gardens and terraces. They were often commissioned as gifts and depicted court scenes, episodes from the world of the immortals, panoramic or landscape views and auspicious symbols. This type of lacquerware was flourishing during the reign of the Kangxi emperor (1662-1722) and saw a revival in the 19th century.

Object Literature

W. De Kesel and G. Dhont in Coromandel Lacquer Screens

Object Condition

Signs of age and wear throughout, occasional rubbing, chipping and touchups to decoration.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

(07551) 297389
+447551297389 | +447586602796

Dealer Location

Private showroom open by appointment

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