Antique Foo Dog Box
Shanxi, circa 1860
This lovely old box is made from the wood of the 'Chinese Parasol Tree' (or 'Wutong') - a wood more commonly used for musical instruments in China. Traditionally boxes like this one were presented to children on their birthdays by grandparents. Each year other gifts were then given to be stored inside. Usually decorated with black and bright red as the primary colours, the designs varied but would most commonly shown Chinese temple lions (or 'foo dogs') - a powerful guardian and protective symbol. Here the paintings are worn but quite visible, the foo dog framed with paintings of flowers and scrolling patterns. The hardware is original, with a simple clasp on the front and ring hinges.
£12.50 delivery to most UK mainland addresses