A scarce and unusual antique Chinese silver and hardstone inlaid snuff box or opium stash pot.
It was probably a commissioned piece gifted to someone or made in celebration of an event such as securing a good job etc.
Chinese men often hid them in the sleeves of their Changpao.
The lid is very well decorated with inlaid translucent hardstone with a deer and a crane by a river underneath a phoenix tree.
There are a number of possible meanings that could be taken from the combination of images according to Chinese lore.
Longevity, the six harmonies and togetherness are a few.
The box is hallmarked on the underside with a Chinese hallmark and an image of golden horse, this is the mark of the Beijing retail and manufacturing silversmith Bao Hua Lou, previously just Bao Hua, late 19th century / early 20th century mark, information on the mark, maker and the symbolism very kindly provided by the world renowned Mr A V Ferscht, if you have not seen his comprehensive website or read his book then I highly recommend it.
It is a very attractive and unique piece of Chinese silver.
Good condition overall with some signs of use and wear commensurate with age, there is a small ding to the lid so it doesn't quite close flush, see photos.
I have not polished it up and have left the natural patina, if you would like it polishing prior to shipping please contact us.
Approx 1" height, 1.25" diameter and weighs approx 23.34 grams.
Any questions please contact us.
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