13th May, 2022 10:00

Asian Art

Lot 10


A Chinese blue and white writing box

A Chinese blue and white writing box,
mid-Ming dynasty, of oval form, painted with scrolling flowers, the top with separate compartments inside, possibly for pens, water or ink, and a well for storing blotting threads,
23cm long

Drawing inspiration from Middle Eastern metalwork, the shape and dense decoration of this writing box is similar to earlier inlaid brass examples. Under the Yongle emperor's patronage for trade and exploratory missions abroad, Admiral Zheng He (1371-1433) made several voyages, travelling to Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and this prompted a fashion for object forms and decorative motifs in what was considered an 'exotic' Middle Eastern style.

For a similar item, see British Museum, museum number PDF,A.629.

明中期 青花缠枝花卉纹文具盒

Take advantage of our Sworders Delivery Service. Please see 'Shipping estimate' below.

Sold for £600

Condition Report

Chips to edges. Cover missing. Hairline cracks in various locations. Surface scratches. Small firing cracks throughout.



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Auction: Asian Art, 13th May, 2022



We will be offering viewing by appointment, to be held at our our London Gallery, Sworders Fine Art, 15 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ.  One hour time slots will be available from:

Sat 7 May, 10am - 1pm 

Sun 8 May, 10am - 1pm

Mon 9 May, 10am - 4pm 

Tues 10 May, 10am - 4pm

Weds 11 May, 10am - 4pm

Thurs 12 May, 10am - 4pm

Book Appointment

All lots are, however, extensively illustrated and carry detailed condition reports - see 'Condition report' at the foot of each lot description. 

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Sworders is proud to be supporting the work of Antiques are Green - the movement that was founded in 2009 to promote “a greener future created from the past”. Read their fascinating carbon footprint study of a Georgian chest of drawers versus a modern equivalent here


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