Dish, Zhang Cheng, c. 1300 - c. 1325
The lacquer, applied to a core of wood and cloth, is built up of dozens of thin layers. As each layer had to dry for a long time, it would have taken at least a year to complete this dish. Carved into the lacquer layer is a decoration with two birds, lotus flowers and other aquatic plants. The piece was signed by Zhang Cheng, a legendary lacquer worker from the Yuan dynasty.