This early porcelain paste box is beautifully decorated in a traditional style in underglaze blue. You can see that this box is completely hand worked, and fired in the old kilns as the glaze and box itself is full of natural imperfections. This example is in remarkably good condition for its advance age. We date the box to approximately 1750 to 1850, early to mid Qing dynasty (1644 to 1912). Originally, the box would have been filled with a cotton soaked in a thick pasty ink, in this case red. You can see remnants of the ink on the box interior. The stylized decoration represents a bat among clouds in a layered heavens. It is auspicious and lucky, and as seals were used to stamp official documents, such a design was desired so that all would go well with the transaction. This is a good sized, heavy box measuring about 6 inches long by 4 inches deep by 2 inches tall, weighing almost two pounds. There is no major damage to speak of, but please be aware at about two hundred years old it is irregular, glaze color variations exist, and various glaze pits and pops are present due to the imprecise nature of the old kilns. These boxes make a wonderful display item that is both functional and beautiful. A remarkable early piece! Green felt pads were added to the bottom at some point in its long life; these can easily be removed if desired.
An Early Chinese Porcelain Underglaze Blue Paste or Ink Seal Box