Above an inlaid bank of bamboo and reeds, nine cranes fly amid scattered clouds of incised gold. The central scene is framed by four dragons within elongated windows set against a diaper-patterned ground composed of coins. These symbols invoke a blessing of long life (cranes), power (dragons who command the clouds), and wealth (coins).
Artist Ryukyuan, Japanese
  • Tray with Design of Cranes in Flight
Date 17th century
Medium lacquer, wood, mother-of-pearl, and gold
Dimensions Overall: 1 3/8 × 11 3/4 × 11 3/4 inches (3.5 × 29.8 × 29.8 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase with funds from Mrs. Howard J. Stoddard and Mr. and Mrs. Stanford C. Stoddard
Accession Number 1987.32
Department Asian Art
Not On View
(Klaus F. Naumann, Tokyo, Japan);
1987-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Bulletin of the DIA 64, no. 2/3, 1988, p. 23, fig. 16 (ill.).