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Identification of Old Box


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#1 infinityseed

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 05:11 PM

Hello,

I have to ask about an old box I found. I really wish to know about its purpose and origin. It has symbols that could be of Chinese origin, but I am unsure because it also appears to have what looks like a scarab on it. Also, there is a circle that looks kind of like a shou symbol, but it is different--almost having swastika patterns inside it. I'm guessing the bats are for happiness and the fish are for marital happiness. I can't decide what the corner symbols are--maybe peacocks, fish or flowers? I think it has a mystic knot as well. Please see pictures below.



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I don't know where, when, or why it was originally made. I picked it up in an antique store a few years ago really for very little money. I just like the way that it looks. Is it Chinese? If so, what do all the symbols mean. Can anyone help me with this?

Thank you,

Infinityseed

#2 JohnD

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 06:45 PM

Bats represent good fortune. Fish represents abundance, particularly referring to wealth and prosperity.

#3 Maria4

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:03 PM

Its true that (Bats represent good fortune. Fish represents abundance) like the person before me has said but i would like to add a few things.. The round symbol in the center reminds me of the Chinese symbol for longevity, but it looks a bit different, at the same time there are bats on the corners and i've seen the Chinese symbol for longevity surrounded by 5 little bats, (those 5 little bats represent '5 good fortunes' which is:wealth, health, longevity, love, virtue) the longevity symbol with 5 bats is a very strong and meaningful symbol. In your case there are only 4 bats and they are not surrounding the longevity symbol so its NOT the same thing but still a good meaning because bats alone mean good fortune. Im not sure what that 'peacock' as u think symbol is, it could be just a decoration (its very common in China when Chinese historians themselves don't know the meanings of some symbols on world wide famous Chinese antiques because it looks like many different things at the same time and there are no notes or books left that states what exactly it is). Also the symbol below the 2 fishes (on the lowest part of your box) i think it looks like a Cicada (a Chinese insect) and a cicada means (longevity & happiness & eternal youth).

So all together you get a very nice box with a very nice meaning... I have lived in china for many years and i've seen boxes that are like this one or very similar to this one (my mom has a few haha), they are also cheap here and its something that's made to look old but its not old.. Its very easy to find them in china. So in my point of view this is just a box for home decoration, but not a antique. (That's why the its hard to tell what that big round symbol is, because its either a copy of the original longevity symbol buy a version that's not very common or it was designed by modern people who are trying to make a nicer design) Hope i helped!
~Maria~

#4 chineseantiquesspecialist

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 06:42 AM

It looks like the wood on this box is "Hua li" which is a nice hardwood. Old or new, the wood itself is noteworthy.
Hong Kong and China based specialist in antique furniture. Blogging at the specialists guide to Chinese antiques.H

#5 chineseantiquesspecialist

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 05:35 AM

Beautiful wood... Be nice to see some more images of this...
Hong Kong and China based specialist in antique furniture. Blogging at the specialists guide to Chinese antiques.H




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