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    18th-Century Chinese Lacquer Box

    Appraised Value:

    $2,000 - $2,500

    Appraised on: July 12, 2003

    Appraised in: Savannah, Georgia

    Appraised by: Marvin Sokolow

    Category: Asian Arts

    Episode Info: Savannah, Hour 2 (#811)

    Originally Aired: April 5, 2004

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 3 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Box
    Material: Lacquer
    Period / Style: 18th Century
    Value Range: $2,000 - $2,500

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    Appraisal Video: (2:10)


    Appraised By:

    Marvin Sokolow
    Asian Arts

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: It belonged to my mother-in-law and I found it in the guest bathroom under the sink.

    APPRAISER: Just open?

    GUEST: In the cupboard.

    APPRAISER: Just there? Not covered, not...?

    GUEST (chuckling): No. And I admired it and I was horrified to see this pretty thing in a place like that, so I asked her if I couldn't take it home and she said yes.

    APPRAISER: Well, this is a Chinese cinnabar lacquer box. It's actually in three colors, and it's all carved. It's made in many layers of lacquer, very laborious work. This is an unusual box because it dates to the 18th century. This mark underneath is the Emperor Qianlong's mark.

    GUEST: Mm-hmm.

    APPRAISER: He was the emperor from 1736 to 1795. If you look inside, you'll see it's lacquered also because if anything was put in the interior, they didn't want it causing damage. The cover is carved with figures and birds and Chinese mythical scenes. Something else interesting is the source of this box. It came from Japan, actually, sold by a dealer in Kyoto, Japan, named Yamanaka. And we have the original invoice, which was signed by the American vice-consul at the time, in 1925. The Yamanaka Company in Japan still exists. It has a wonderful old building in the Sanjo-Dori district in Kyoto. And the fact that they had this is not surprising, because they were dealers in great Chinese objects. And I wonder if you have any idea what it cost in 1925. Well, I've seen the invoice. It's 900 yen, which I think is about three dollars.

    GUEST (laughing): Oh! I've come all this way for three dollars.

    APPRAISER: Today it's worth in the neighborhood of $2,000 to $2,500.

    GUEST: That's wonderful.

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