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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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Mottahedeh Tobacco Leaf Pomegranate Box & Plate
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Mottahedeh Tobacco Leaf Pomegranate Box & Plate
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MAISON TAHAN PARIS GILT BRONZE PORCELAIN ENAMEL JEWELED VANITY BOX, CIRCA 1900
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19thc Conta Boehme Red Riding Hood Fairing Box
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19thc Conta Boehme Red Riding Hood Fairing Box
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A Yellow Glazed Porcelain Cover Box
Mar 09, 1:30 PM EST
A Yellow Glazed Porcelain Cover Box
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FRENCH PORCELAIN BOX WITH ORMOLU FRAME 7" X 5" X 4"
Mar 03, 10:30 AM EST
FRENCH PORCELAIN BOX WITH ORMOLU FRAME 7" X 5" X 4"
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Otto & Vivika Heino Miniature 2- piece ceramic box
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Alvino Bagni For Raymor Ceramic Box
Mar 12, 12:00 PM EDT
Alvino Bagni For Raymor Ceramic Box
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A blue and white porcelain cylindrical covered box painted with a continuous of landscape
Mar 02, 12:30 PM ICT
A blue and white porcelain cylindrical covered box painted with a continuous of landscape
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A CONTINENTAL PORCELAIN BOX AND COVER modelled as a pug dog, the lid with a scene after Murillo. 4ins hig
Mar 06, 10:30 AM GMT
A CONTINENTAL PORCELAIN BOX AND COVER modelled as a pug dog, the lid with a scene after Murillo. 4ins hig
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KLEINE DECKELDOSE MIT VOGEL
Mar 07, 10:00 AM CET
KLEINE DECKELDOSE MIT VOGEL
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Continental, Collection of five lidded boxes
Feb 29, 11:00 AM CST
Continental, Collection of five lidded boxes
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19thc Conta Boheme Porcelain Fairing Box
Mar 16, 2:00 PM EDT
19thc Conta Boheme Porcelain Fairing Box
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19thc German Conta Boehme Porcelain Fairing Box
Mar 16, 2:00 PM EDT
19thc German Conta Boehme Porcelain Fairing Box
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PORCELAIN ENAMELED BOX.
Mar 08, 11:00 AM EST
PORCELAIN ENAMELED BOX.
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A blue and white porcelain cylindrical covered box painted with dragons writhing amidst cloud
Mar 02, 12:30 PM ICT
A blue and white porcelain cylindrical covered box painted with dragons writhing amidst cloud
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OGGETTISTICA
Mar 07, 10:30 AM CET
OGGETTISTICA
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A Polychrome Decor Tea Box
Feb 29, 10:00 AM CET
A Polychrome Decor Tea Box
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Art Deco Keksdose
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Art Deco Keksdose
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Painted Porcelain Dresser Box
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Painted Porcelain Dresser Box
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Decorated Porcelain Box for Tiffany & Co.
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Decorated Porcelain Box for Tiffany & Co.
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A blue and white porcelain covered box painted with flowers blossom (shipwreck porcelain)
Mar 02, 12:30 PM ICT
A blue and white porcelain covered box painted with flowers blossom (shipwreck porcelain)
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A gilt-metal mounted Continental porcelain oval bo…
Mar 20, 10:30 AM GMT
A gilt-metal mounted Continental porcelain oval bo…
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Sellers Who Sell Boxes


Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

RCB Auctions

RCB Auctions

Connoisseur Online

Connoisseur Online

Toomey & Co. Auctioneers

Toomey & Co. Auctioneers