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Boxes

From the smaller-scale snuffbox to the more elaborate lidded vessel, ceramic boxes are an elegant addition to any antique collection. These enthralling pieces reflect varying styles and subjects while also reminding us of one the most crucial inventions in history: the lid.

Following the development of the ceramic vessel, which undoubtedly revolutionized human daily life during the prehistoric era, the next big advancement was the creation of the lid to accompany vessels as a way to keep out exterior elements. Lids began as simple coverings, usually rendered in flat slabs of clay shaped roughly and fitted with a simple handle. Over time, though, these lids became more finessed, with the lid more closely contouring the ceramic base and eventually, the development of a lip to ensure the lid’s stability.

While the uses for such pieces became exponentially more varied over subsequent centuries, the basic construction remained the same. Perhaps this helps explain the popularity among collectors for these pieces: for as much as they are a piece of history, lidded ceramic boxes are still in use today, making antique versions a fitting addition for everyday elegance.


Quick Facts

  • Ceramics get their name from the ancient Greek "keramos," which means "pottery" or "potter's clay"
  • Some of the earliest surviving ceramic boxes come from the archaeological excavations at Beth Shaen in present-day Palestine. Reflecting Egyptian influence in the region during the Late Bronze Age, these vessels are constructed from slabs of clay and include a looped handle and a beveled lid
  • A recent record in ceramic box sales occurred at Christie’s Hong Kong with a bronze-glazed circular lidded box. The box, roughly 3 inches in diameter and featuring a faint scroll motif that encircles its circumference, sold for $129,520 in June 2015

Recommended Items at Auction

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Arne Bang Denmark Antique Pottery Box with Pewter
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
Arne Bang Denmark Antique Pottery Box with Pewter
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $50- $100
$201 Bid
A Tiffany & Co Le Tallec Porcelain Box with a Lizard & Floral Motifs, Original Box
Dec 07, 6:00 PM AEDT
A Tiffany & Co Le Tallec Porcelain Box with a Lizard & Floral Motifs, Original Box
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD1001 Bid
A RECTANGULAR LIDDED BOX WITH FLORAL DECORATION
Dec 07, 9:30 AM CET
A RECTANGULAR LIDDED BOX WITH FLORAL DECORATION
by Nagel Auction
Est: €300- €500
€3000 Bids
Drei Deckeldosen mit Blumendekor
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CET
Drei Deckeldosen mit Blumendekor
by Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden
Est: €180- €360
€1800 Bids
Continental Hand Painted Porcelain Dresser Box
Dec 04, 10:00 AM PST
Continental Hand Painted Porcelain Dresser Box
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $250- $300
$2000 Bids
ROGER & GALLET "NIGHT OF DELIGHT"
Dec 03, 2:30 PM CET
ROGER & GALLET "NIGHT OF DELIGHT"
by Chaville Enchères
Est: €40- €50
€300 Bids
ROGER & GALLET "NIGHT OF DELIGHT"
Dec 03, 2:30 PM CET
ROGER & GALLET "NIGHT OF DELIGHT"
by Chaville Enchères
Est: €40- €50
€300 Bids
Hand Painted ANTQ Elfinware, Floral Porcelain Box
Dec 21, 10:00 AM EST
Hand Painted ANTQ Elfinware, Floral Porcelain Box
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $20- $40
$10 Bids
Art Déco-Dose
Dec 02, 10:00 AM CET
Art Déco-Dose
by Kunstauktionshaus Schloss Ahlden
Est: €360- €720
€3600 Bids
Miniature Chest of Drawers - Earthenware
Dec 03, 2:00 PM CET
Miniature Chest of Drawers - Earthenware
by Antikvity
Est: €400- €1,000
€4000 Bids
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Kevin Francis Face Pots Box, Santa 2002
Dec 04, 9:00 AM EST
Kevin Francis Face Pots Box, Santa 2002
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
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Kevin Francis Face Pots Box, Santa 2002
Dec 04, 9:00 AM EST
Kevin Francis Face Pots Box, Santa 2002
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
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Kevin Francis Face Pots Box, Santa 2003
Dec 04, 9:00 AM EST
Kevin Francis Face Pots Box, Santa 2003
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
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Kevin Francis Face Pots Box, Welcome To Your Club
Dec 04, 9:00 AM EST
Kevin Francis Face Pots Box, Welcome To Your Club
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
UWE KRAUSE (*1933) Künstlerkeramik-Deckeldose
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CET
UWE KRAUSE (*1933) Künstlerkeramik-Deckeldose
by Auktionshaus Rotherbaum OHG
Est: €0- €0
€400 Bids
OGGETTISTICA
Dec 07, 10:00 AM CET
OGGETTISTICA
by Aste Boetto SRL
Est: €250- €300
€2500 Bids
MICHAEL POWOLNY: BOX WITH DANUBE MAIDEN "DONAUWEIBCHEN"
Dec 07, 6:00 PM CET
MICHAEL POWOLNY: BOX WITH DANUBE MAIDEN "DONAUWEIBCHEN"
by Im Kinsky
Est: €3,000- €6,000
€3,0000 Bids
A French porcelain box painted with flowers. 11 cm wide.
Dec 03, 10:00 AM GMT
A French porcelain box painted with flowers. 11 cm wide.
by Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers
Est: £40- £60
£400 Bids
A porcelain figural tobacco box. 12 cm high.
Dec 03, 10:00 AM GMT
A porcelain figural tobacco box. 12 cm high.
by Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers
Est: £20- £30
£200 Bids
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DECKELDOSE
Dec 12, 10:00 AM CET
DECKELDOSE
by Schuler Auktionen
Est: CHF100- CHF200
CHF1000 Bids
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DECKELDOSE
Dec 12, 10:00 AM CET
DECKELDOSE
by Schuler Auktionen
Est: CHF100- CHF200
CHF1000 Bids
THREE CERAMIC ANGEL LIDDED BOXES
Dec 02, 12:00 PM EST
THREE CERAMIC ANGEL LIDDED BOXES
by Converse Auctions
Est: $20- $40
$100 Bids
Large Signed Glazed Pottery Covered Box
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
Large Signed Glazed Pottery Covered Box
by World Auction Gallery
Est: $150- $200
$700 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Boxes


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Lion and Unicorn

Lion and Unicorn

Schuler Auktionen

Schuler Auktionen

Chaville Enchères

Chaville Enchères