Woven Summer Hat Box

c. 1850
$1,380 USD SOLD
H: 10.0" Dia: 13.0"
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No self-respecting man in Qing-dynasty China would leave the house without some kind of hat. In fact, headgear was so central to social status that even the containers used to store one's hat were beautifully constructed.

This 19th-century round hat box was originally used to store the owner's conical summer hat. Influenced by the woven bamboo hats of Chinese farmers, the festive summer hats worn by ranked officials were usually lined with a fine silk gauze and topped with a beaded finial.

While many hat boxes were finished with lacquered hide for an even finish, this box was lacquered directly atop the woven construction, resulting in gorgeous, textured wear from years of use. The hat box is woven with subtle handles on either side, as well as two on the underside in the interlocking coin motif, a symbol of wealth and success. Unusual and conversation-sparking, this sculptural box is a fantastic collector's item and a statement addition to the home.

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