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Black Lacquer Stool with Ground Mother-of-pearl Inlays and Cloisonné Seat

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Period: Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
Medium: black lacquer, ground mother-of-pearl, and cloisonné
Date: undated
Dimensions: height: 41 cm, seat diameter: 42.5 cm

The stool is coated in black lacquer. Its round seat is inlaid with cloisonné in the design of two dragons chasing a pearl. Raised moldings stretch from the edge of the seat down the waist (shu yao, i.e., the recessed part under the seat of a chair, or under the top of a table). Above the waist, this stool is inlaid with five carved openwork ornamental panels. Between the waist and the apron is the stepped apron molding, a component designed to rationalize the structure. Legs curve outward with the ends scrolling inwards imitating clouds. Finely ground mother-of-pearl is inlaid all over the lacquer surface, making the stool shiny and luxurious.

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