Gold and shell box with pheonix and bird design

Shanghai Guanfu Museum

Shanghai Guanfu Museum
Shanghai, China

This pomander, half is in shell design combined with the other half of the gold imitation of shell shape, and incised with phoenix and bird decoration, one side has a buckle design to link the two parts. Incised lines are fine and clear whilst the phoenix and birds are joyful and vividly decorated, and looks very auspicious. The upper part is decorated with the linking balls pattern. In general it looks exquisite and wisely designed, artisic and multifunctional, which also shows a high standard of fine craftsmanship. In Tang and Song periods, the culture of incense was very popular, the objects and tools for incense use therefore developed a lot. They come with different types, materials which indicate a highly refined taste of lifestyle in that period. Similar unearthed silver box has been found in Wei Mei Mei's Tomb in Tang period near eastern region of Xi'an, and it is located very close to the skull part, sticking together next to the cosmetic round lacquer box which also contains gold, silver, and bronzewares, therefore, this pomander is probably the object for containing ancient ladies cosmetic goods.


  • Title: Gold and shell box with pheonix and bird design
  • Location Created: China
  • Provenance: Acquired by Shanghai Guanfu Museum
  • Type: Accessories
  • Rights: Shanghai Guanfu Museum, China

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