Subject:Re: Trinket box with odd marking - Not traditional. HELP!
Posted By: Bill H Thu, Dec 13, 2018
Your apparent Chinese enameled brass trinket box is in the form of a melon with gilt stem for knob on its cover. Melons, with their copious seeds, are traditional symbols of a bountiful marriage in China (also Japan and Korea), where "male offspring" and "seeds" are both called by the same character, "Zi" (子) in mandarin pinyin.
What looks to be a seal-script mark on the base, if flipped 90-degrees right, can be read here in the standard character as "Jia" (甲), meaning "First Class". In my opinion, this individualistic type of factory marking may bode for your box having been made in Taiwan, where it has been my experience that such marks are somewhat more common than seen on late 20th century and subsequent products of Mainland factories.
Pasted below is an eBay URL to an unmarked box for sale in the same form and a variant pattern. Both it and yours probably are late 20th century products, deserving of the "vintage" description. Though you obviously haven't seen a lot of these boxes, they are more common than you might expect, and the asking price on this eBay item probably reflects such a market.
URL Title :Melon Box