The present piece is a fine example of the elegant cinnabar lacquer boxes carved in imitation of bound books that were greatly admired by the Qianlong emperor. A closely related box also carved with covers simulating floral brocade, is illustrated in Daily Life of a Qing Emperor, Hong Kong, 1984, cat. no. 53. Two lacquer boxes with similar carved decoration can also be found in the Palace Museum, Beijing, and are illustrated in Sankido and Master Pieces of Chinese Stationary, Tokyo, 1990, p. 24, no. 23, and in Carved Lacquer in the Collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, 1985, no. 395. See also a related box in the Tianjin Museum is illustrated in Zhongguo Qiqi Quanji, vol. 6, Fujian, 1997, no. 221.
A similar cinnabar lacquer box and cover replicating a bound album was sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 27th October 2003, lot 784; and another carved with a landscape scene, sold on 31st October 2000, lot 1012.
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