Enquiry about object: 5903

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Korean Silver-Inlaid Iron Box with Sliding Lid

18th-19th century - Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)

length: 9cm, width: 5.5cm, height: 4.3cm, weight: 353g



UK art market

This pleasing, rectangular box is of sheet iron walls that have been inlaid with silver and with small brass feet.

One end has a ‘C’-shaped handle above which is knob that is slid upwards to release a catch. This then allows the cover to slide open to reveal the compartment inside.

The top and sides are decorated with Buddhistic motifs including a long-life motif on the top.

Such boxes typically were used to hold tobacco, hence their airtight nature. Their size also allowed then to be slipped into the pocket of a robe.

See a related example in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The example here is in fine condition. It has obvious age, there are no losses, and the catch or locking mechanism works well.

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