A late 19th century Chinese box made for storing small teacups, this piece is an example of an everyday utilitarian object with design and workmanship that stands the test of time. The box is constructed of shaped wood staves fitted together in barrel fashion and secured top and bottom with brass bands. The lid is in two parts, with the back half affixed and the front half removable so that the stacked cups were secure but easily taken out of the container. The box is lacquered in dark red and the base is edged in carved scallops. Such teacup boxes are collected and displayed today as decorative folk art objects. Expected wear for a utilitarian piece of this age has given it an appealing patina. Dimensions: height 6-1/2" (16 cm), diameter 13” (33 cm).