Stolen items from the Chinese Pavilion

The following items were stolen during the break-in at the Chinese Pavilion on the night of Friday 6 August:
  • a small Japanese lacquered box on feet
  • a green soapstone sculpture
  • an altar chalice in red carved lacquer, on a lattice-work wooden base
  • a wine goblet carved from rhinoceros horn
  • a small teapot made from black-patinated and gold-plated bronze
  • a muskwood dish
A miniature sofa with a clay figurine of a reclining woman dressed in robes was also stolen, but was damaged when the thieves escaped. Parts of this object were found on the steps of the Chinese Pavilion.

A number of other items were also damaged during the break-in.

The Japanese lacquered box dates from around 1700, and is one of few Japanese pieces of exported lacquerware that can be traced back to such an early European collection as that at the Chinese Pavilion. The box is in black lacquer and decorated in gold, and was intended for storing blocks of Indian ink. The box features a landscape design, with motifs depicting groups of flowers and plants on the sides. It houses four small loose boxes with similar lacquer decoration. Each of these contains a loose insert with four compartments and a central knob in gold lacquer.

The green soapstone sculpture dates back to the 17th century or the early 18th century, and depicts a mountain scene with figures on two different levels. The figures on the upper level include Lao Tse riding on a deer.

The altar chalice in red carved lacquer is from the 16th century, and stands on an 18th century lattice-work wooden base (lotus leaves with flowers). The decoration on the outside depicts people amid a landscape (the Taoist immortals).

The carved rhinoceros horn wine goblet is funnel-shaped, with handles in the form of two climbing dragons. The goblet stands on a carved wooden stand.

The teapot made from black-patinated and gold-plated bronze is globe-shaped. The sides have decorated sections with a gilt base and raised relief with small, black-patinated ornamentation.

The muskwood dish has a carved reverse with floral tendrils along the sides and the Phoenix on the underneath.


Miniature sofa with clay figurine

Japanese lacquered box 1
Japanese lacquered box 2
Japanese lacquered box 3

Green soapstone sculpture

Altar chalice in red carved lacquer 1
Altar chalice in red carved lacquer 2

Wine goblet carved from rhinoceros horn

Teapot in black-patinated and gold-plated bronze

Muskwood dish 1
Muskwood dish 2