Red Lacquer Wedding Box

H: 12.5" Dia: 11.0"
Northern Elmwood
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This round red lacquer box dates to the late 19th century and was originally used as a portable container for carrying meals, snacks, and food offerings. Ornately carved and finished with celebratory colors, the box was likely a gift for a pair of newlyweds, presented as part of a wedding ceremony. The carrying box has a rounded shape comprised of elmwood staves bound with metal bands and finished with bright cinnabar red lacquer. The gilt handle is carved with pairs of dragons and phoenixes flanking a central peony, a symbol of springtime, love, and affection. A common motif for wedding gifts, the dragon and phoenix together as a pair represent good fortune and happy omens.

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