19th C, elm, found in Beijing. 28″ w, 17.5″ d, 15.5″ h.
This box or low table is an unique opium gadgets storing table. It has a thick black-lacquered top that lifts up to reveal a storage compartment, and a side drawer that slides out to expose a shallow storage space with a small drawer and slots for paraphernalia at each end. The box has a red-lacquered body recessed behind black lacquered beaded frame with humpback stretchers spanning the frame members. These side members are decorated with relief-carving of angular scrolls designs towards the bottom. On each side of the box between the humpback stretcher and top frame member is a beautiful brass stylized ruyi cartouche. This is a very unique piece. (With a low stand, it would make a nice chairside table).