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Black Lacquered Dressing Box Inlaid with a Mirror

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Period: mid Qing dynasty (1368-1644)
Medium: painted black lacquer on wood, bronze mirror, stained ivory, coral, and ruby
Date: undated
Dimensions: height: 42 cm, length: 42 cm, width: 42 cm

Inlaid with a round polished bronze mirror, the panel under the box lid can be propped up. Inside the doors of the dressing box, a small pair of doors shields four drawers that contain combs. On the inside of the main doors landscapes are painted in gold. Inlaid in the doors are stained ivory, rubies, and coral carved in auspicious motifs such as bats, Ruyi scepters, butterflies, flowers, fruits and pavilions. The contrast of the black lacquer background and bright decorations makes this dressing box both elegant and dynamic. This piece was made during the mid Qing dynasty, but was still favored by Cixi and other imperial ladies in the late Qing.

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