Circular huanghuali box
China, 18th century
A huanghuali box and cover of circular shape, the base slightly recessed. The top is carved in relief with an elaborate arrangement of lotus leaves, pods and stems, all emanating from wild waves and rocks. Around the rim is a continuous key-fret border. The lid fits snugly and the pronounced grain of the huanghuali is clearly visible.
Circular boxes in huanghuali are rare; most extant examples are rectangular in shape. The few huanghuali circular boxes in existence are usually completely plain, so it is rare to see a finely carved lotus decoration as on the present example.
Grace Wu Bruce, Hong Kong