Octagonal Red Lacquer Tray

c. 1870
W: 18.5" D: 18.5" H: 3.5"
Northern Elmwood
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This late 19th-century tray is crafted of northern elm (yumu) with eight sides, an auspicious number associated with wealth and abundance. The tray has a short footed base and flared sides reinforced at the corners with cloud-form iron plates. Colored by a finish of bright cinnabar-red lacquer, the tray may have originated as a presentation dish for food offerings or celebratory meals.

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