Eight Panel Coromandel Lacquer Screen

20th Century
$5,850 $7,800 USD
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W: 147.0" D: 1.0" H: 94.0"
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This showstopping eight panel folding screen is expertly crafted in the Chinoiserie style of the 20th century with a gold & black finish known as coromandel lacquer. Named after European trade routes that ran along the Coromandel coast, coromandel lacquer features a decorative technique known as “incised colors” (kuan cai), which dates back as far as the Song dynasty (960–1279). Traditionally, the wood base would be coated with many layers of dark lacquer and given a high polish. Once the lacquer had hardened, intricate designs were carved into the surface and the recesses filled in with colored pigments to create vibrant scenes.

This gorgeous coromandel lacquer screen is incised with a gold and black design of a grand palace tucked within an idyllic mountainside setting. The sprawling palace complex displays many elements of traditional Chinese architecture. Courtyard railings are decorated with crashing waves and cracked ice lattice panels, and rooftops of towering pagodas are covered in graduated ceramic tiles. Gnarled pines, bamboo stalks and palm trees wave in the wind as young boys play in the courtyard, some performing Tai Chi and others playing various instruments. Groups of women are shown residing in their quarters and drinking tea, while others are outside accompanying the children and telling them stories. The scenery is enclosed by an elegant border of repeated cartouche carvings of cranes, symbolizing longevity and peace.

The back of the screen has a more minimalist panorama, featuring sculptural scholars' rocks and bamboo stalks. Scholars' rocks, or gongshi, were prized by Chinese artists as a source of inspiration for painting, poetry and calligraphy. The tradition of natural forms as sculpture stems from Taoist affinities with nature and a sophisticated, cultivated taste for its peculiar effects and humble associations. The scene is bordered by a geometric pattern with bamboo leaves scattered throughout.

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Elizabeth Krueger | Elizabeth Krueger Design

“PAGODA RED was extremely supportive in helping to pull accessory options together for the Lake Forest Showhouse. After providing them with details and our vision on how we were looking to finish our space, Laurene helped curate options that made it easy for us to edit and finalize. It's also no surprise that the unique pieces we used in our showhouse space were some of the first to sell.”

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