Black Lacquer Presentation Box

c. 1900
W: 11.25" D: 11.0" H: 6.0"
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This simple lacquered box is a 19th-century snack box, presented as a gift during holidays and special occasions. To the delight of the recipients, the unassuming box would have opened to reveal a bounty of popular snacks like roasted melon seeds, dried fruit, and cinnamon-toasted soybeans. The square box is simply constructed of mortise-and-tenon joinery with a deep top lid and a shallow base that doubles as a tray. The lightweight wooden box is coated inside and out with an even finish of black lacquer, now gently worn at the edges from years of use.

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