Antique Superb Chinese Silver And Enamel Opium Box
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Antique Superb Chinese Silver And Enamel Opium Box:
Up for sale is a superb antique Chinese opium box. Made of exquisitely detailed wrought silver, the box features a landscape with figures on one side and elaborate calligraphy on the other, both set against a background of white enamel (with green enamel highlights in the landscape). The borders of the box include elaborately detailed scrolls, bats and floral patterns. A solid, weighty piece, the box has tight fitting interior and exterior lids, and a makers' mark on the bottom. It measures 2" by 1.7".One of these boxes is featured in Peter Lee's book "Opium Culture: the Art and Ritual of the Chinese Tradition," including two photos of the box with the following caption: "An exquisitely detailed gold-plated, wrought silver opium box in the 'Inro' shape, shown front and back. Such quality utensils were commonly used by wealthy opium smokers and are now highly prized collectors' pieces." Lee lists the box as courtesy of the noted opium antique collector Wolf K. (Note that I am unable to confirm whether or not the box is in fact "gold-plated," and list it only as silver.)