Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

Asian Art Auction

Thu, Aug 18, 2022 09:00AM EDT
Lot 156

Three Mother of Pearl Inlaid Boxes

Estimate: $300 - $450

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$100 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $200
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

late 19th/early 20th century, comprising: Chinese lidded hongmu casket of rectangular form, decorated with mother of pearl inlaid floral sprays, landscape scenes, and auspicious objects, lid corners with metal bat appliques, stepped bracket feet, 3-5/8 x 6-1/4 x 3-3/8 in.; together with Victorian rosewood glove box and keepsake box, hinged lids opening to single compartment interiors, lid tops decorated with mother of pearl floral inlay, one with metal bail handle, 2-3/4 x 11-1/2 x 4-3/8 in. and 5-3/8 x 13 x 9-1/4 in.

Note: From 2600 B.C. in the time of Mesopotamia to present day, mother of pearl has been highly regarded as possessing a beautiful luster, ranging from a pearly white to a dark black color. Often reserved for aristocracy, royalty and the upper class, the stone was used for everything from furniture, jewelry, game boards, and card cases, to boxes and clothing to instruments - examples of which abound at auction houses and museums today.

This lot features three wonderful examples of mother of pearl inlay, dating from the late 19th to early 20th century. A rosewood glove box with original metal handle, a diminutive Chinese hongmu box with intricate inlay extending to its feet, and finally, what may have been a sewing box, now a keepsake box. While each is functional, the day's appreciation for artistic craftsmanship is evident in the exceptional representation of roses, swirling vines and stems, and incised detail within the carefully stenciled shapes.

?This lot contains animal or plant material that may be restricted under federal, state and/or local law. Prospective bidders should check all applicable government wildlife restrictions prior to placing a bid. The buyer is solely responsible for obtaining any necessary licenses or permits from federal, state and/or local authorities applicable to their purchase or transport of the object. Please note that bidders in New Jersey may not bid on any lots containing elephant ivory, mammoth ivory, or rhinoceros horn.

Provenance: Private Collection, Colorado


scattered surface scratches and bumps; lidded casket missing one bat applique, repair to bats at one side of lid; two hinged lid examples with possibly later interior paint; example with bail handle with some chips at losses at corners, some warping to lid; glove and keepsake boxes with original interiors