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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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PINK AND RED GERMAN PORCELAIN BOXES
Jul 30, 10:00 AM EDT
PINK AND RED GERMAN PORCELAIN BOXES
by Potomack Company
Est: $200- $400
$2002 Bids
19thc Conta Boehme Red Riding Hood Fairing Box
Aug 03, 2:00 PM EDT
19thc Conta Boehme Red Riding Hood Fairing Box
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $75- $150
$600 Bids
French Porcelain Egg Shape Box on Stand
Jul 30, 11:00 AM EDT
French Porcelain Egg Shape Box on Stand
by Hidden Treasures Antiques & Fine Arts
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
19CENTURY GERMAN PORCELAIN SEWING BOX
Jul 30, 11:00 AM EDT
19CENTURY GERMAN PORCELAIN SEWING BOX
by Hidden Treasures Antiques & Fine Arts
Est: $2,500- $3,000
$2,0000 Bids
Two Bodenbach redware lidded boxes, 19th century,
Jul 25, 10:00 AM BST
Two Bodenbach redware lidded boxes, 19th century,
by Cheffins
Est: £200- £400
£1600 Bids
Deckeldose, Nymphenburg, 20. Jh.
Jul 27, 11:00 AM CEST
Deckeldose, Nymphenburg, 20. Jh.
by Kunstauktionshaus Schlosser
Est: €120- €240
€1200 Bids
Deckeldose, Um 1800
Jul 27, 11:00 AM CEST
Deckeldose, Um 1800
by Kunstauktionshaus Schlosser
Est: €150- €300
€1500 Bids
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Kevin Francis Prototype Colour Trial Face Pots Box, Henry VIII
Jul 31, 2:00 PM EDT
Kevin Francis Prototype Colour Trial Face Pots Box, Henry VIII
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
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Art Deko Deckeldose mit Speerwerfer, Deckel beschriftet Echternach, H-10 cm, 12x8 cm
Aug 03, 1:45 PM CEST
Art Deko Deckeldose mit Speerwerfer, Deckel beschriftet Echternach, H-10 cm, 12x8 cm
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€150 Bids
Grouping of Vintage Czech Sardine Boxes
Jul 29, 6:00 PM EDT
Grouping of Vintage Czech Sardine Boxes
by Orion Antiques
Est: $50- $150
$200 Bids
19thc German Conta Boehme Fairing Box, Girl With Goose
Aug 17, 2:00 PM EDT
19thc German Conta Boehme Fairing Box, Girl With Goose
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $75- $150
$500 Bids
ANTIQUE FRENCH FAIENCE CERAMIC "HEART" BOX - LILLE 1767
Jul 25, 5:00 PM IDT
ANTIQUE FRENCH FAIENCE CERAMIC "HEART" BOX - LILLE 1767
by The Bidder
Est: $300- $500
$1200 Bids
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2 ART DECO LIDDED BOXES
Jul 30, 10:00 AM CEST
2 ART DECO LIDDED BOXES
by Auktionshaus Rheine
Est: €45- €100
€400 Bids
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BOX
Jul 30, 10:00 AM CEST
BOX
by Auktionshaus Rheine
Est: €25- €40
€200 Bids
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A Yellow Glazed Porcelain Cover Box
Aug 10, 1:30 PM EDT
A Yellow Glazed Porcelain Cover Box
by Wensly Auctions
Est: $500- $700
$1500 Bids
MANIFATTURA FRANCESE DEL XX SECOLO - Two painted and partially gilded porcelain boxes
Jul 30, 11:00 AM CEST
MANIFATTURA FRANCESE DEL XX SECOLO - Two painted and partially gilded porcelain boxes
by Capitolium Art
Est: €50- €70
€500 Bids
German Hand Painted Porcelain Dresser Box, Blue Scale Courting Scenes, Late 19 C
Aug 18, 10:00 AM PDT
German Hand Painted Porcelain Dresser Box, Blue Scale Courting Scenes, Late 19 C
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $600- $800
$4000 Bids
Oval box in polychrome porcelain
Sep 26, 3:00 PM CEST
Oval box in polychrome porcelain
by Bertolami Fine Art s.r.l.
Est: €60- €80
€500 Bids
A Blue And White Four-tier Porcelain Round Box,
Jul 30, 7:30 PM CDT
A Blue And White Four-tier Porcelain Round Box,
by Houston Antique Auction LLC
Est: $100- $1,000
$500 Bids
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Deckeldose 13x8,5 cm und Serviettenhalter 7,5 cm, B-12 cm "Wächterbacher"
Aug 03, 1:45 PM CEST
Deckeldose 13x8,5 cm und Serviettenhalter 7,5 cm, B-12 cm "Wächterbacher"
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€50 Bids
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Boehm Porcelain Gifts Beautiful Presents The Patriot Eagle Box
Aug 06, 2:00 PM EDT
Boehm Porcelain Gifts Beautiful Presents The Patriot Eagle Box
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
A group of nine redware tobacco boxes, mainly by Schiller and Gerbing, 19th century,
Jul 25, 10:00 AM BST
A group of nine redware tobacco boxes, mainly by Schiller and Gerbing, 19th century,
by Cheffins
Est: £300- £500
£2400 Bids
German Silver Mounted Painted Porcelain Box
Aug 02, 7:00 AM EDT
German Silver Mounted Painted Porcelain Box
by The Popular Auction, LLC
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$7500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Boxes


Cheffins

Cheffins

Kunstauktionshaus Schlosser

Kunstauktionshaus Schlosser

Connoisseur Online

Connoisseur Online

Bertolami Fine Art s.r.l.

Bertolami Fine Art s.r.l.