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Subject:Chinese tobacco box (?)
Posted By: Olga Sun, May 05, 2019 IP:

is it possible to identify the purpose, origin, age and material of this little box?

Subject:Re: Chinese tobacco box (?)
Posted By: Bill H Wed, May 08, 2019

Such made-in-China "double jewelry boxes" are currently being offered as "buy-it-now" specials on eBay in the category of vintage collectibles (1900 forward) for $9.49 each plus an additional $9.99 for shipping.

The double box I found on eBay has different floral arrangements etched into the bone sides and a Buddha depicted on its so-called "jade" top. I also found one configured as a single box on the website, which piece had a similar Chinese unicorn or qilin (erroneously called "dragon") on the stone top, with identical floral & bird etchings on its sides. The price of this box wasn't shown, but the site has a link where you can request the "value" from an appraiser. Hmm. Don't know but suspect a fee could be involved.

When you see internet offers of anything described as "Chinese Jade", keep in mind that the Chinese had already mined virtually all of their reserves of the two true jades, nephrite and jadeite, by the end of the Ming dynasty, which ended almost four centuries ago. Nowadays, Chinese jade carvers on the Mainland and Hong Kong use jadeite from Myanmar (Formerly Burma), which is quite expensive, as well as some jades from the Western Hemisphere, including Canada. But in my experience, anything being sold in quantity for less than ten US$ a pop is not true jade.

On the other hand, I'm sure your box has decorative and conversational value, so enjoy it as such.

Here are relevant links to sites mentioned above:

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Chinese tobacco box (?)
Posted By: Olga Thu, May 09, 2019

Hi Bill!
Thanks a lot for your feedback and links.
I had no doubt that top and wall materials are both unnatural (jade and bone as mentioned by ebay sellers). The cost involved in the purchasing was so small, that we consider it's a good deal for such cute stuff.
The point regarding purpose of the box is still open. In any case I love it even not being aware :-) .
Thanks again!
all the best,
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