Scholar Document Box from the Qing Dynasty (1800 - 1850)
This is really an incredible item that pictures don't do justice. It's made from leather with a heavy red lacquer finish and inlaid gold gilted art, secured with hand stitching. Inside is also leather without the lacquer. What's cool is the natural leather bottom is "drum-like" when you tap lightly on the surface.
See description of artwork below and pictures for close up for details.
The following is an article about Asian Scholar Document Boxes
"The most beautiful and sought after document boxes were used by wealthy merchants while traveling. These boxes were often beautifully crafted with delicate designs of gold leaf and lacquers painted directly on the polished wood cases or on tightly stretched and padded leather coverings for added luxury and comfort. The boxes were sturdily built to withstand daily use with many of them surviving for generations. An original document box in good condition and certified as an antique can be worth thousands of dollars to collectors. Document boxes were also used in Japan, Korea and other Asian countries."
Design: Imperial Fu-xi Dragon
- Red signifies luck, happiness, health and prosperity,
- Huanglong, Yellow Dragon, which emerged from the River Luo to show Fuxi the elements of writing