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Chinese Lacquer Tea Chest

Antique 19th Century Chinese export lacquer Tea Chest decorated with scenes of merchants trading beside a river in a contrasting gold against the black base colour. Water is lucky in Chinese culture, as many business transactions took place by rivers, which were also used for the transportation of goods. The scenes have been hand painted on all sides of the box, and inside there are details around the edges and a pair of large fern fronds inside the top of the box. The lacquer work is raised and would have been applied layer by layer. An excellent quality piece that would have been presented to a significant European person or organisation in the tea trading world of the time. The box is made from wood, with multiple layers of lacquer applied and hand painted scenes. The original pewter liner is still intact, with the bone handle, which has been decorated with fine engraving. Unfortunately the key to the lock is missing, but it is in otherwise excellent condition with no losses and only minor wear commensurate with age and use.

Measures: 24.5cm wide x 16.25cm deep x 11.5cm tall