An attractive example of a hand embossed, leather covered domed box, often referred to as a "Pillow Box". This name apparently a result of the idea that when traveling, one places valuables in such a box and then uses it for a pillow to avoid theft while sleeping. These rectangular boxes could certainly have been used in such a manner but were probably more often the repository of valuable scrolls and documents. This nice old box is probably from Fujian Province, where such good quality work was known. It has nicely wrought brass fittings and handles. The leather does show wear, but no tears or holes, on the sides and top which is complimented by a dark, rich patina that enhances the detailed hand embossed sides. The bottom shows the ususal effects of moisture so often encountered in antique trunks and boxes that were actually used in Chinese homes,(see photo). Size, 25" in length, 6.25" in height and 6.5" in width. Circa 1910.
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Asian Decorative Arts