DIA340xH100mm, China

This red lacquer box is part would have been part of the dowry item in a traditional Chinese wedding.  In old China when the country is agricultural based, male is regarded as asset to the family with their labour and sadly , especially for the poor, female took on a minimal role in society.  It is said that a wealthy family their daughter is married off, a commoner’s daughter would be given away at the marriage and a poor man would have his daughter sold.  Wary of how the daughter’s life would be when she enters the groom’s family, the bride’s family would try their best to come up with an elaborate list of dowry so to ensure the status of their daughter in the new home and that she would not be seen as “sold”.  It so extensive that the production of the dowry would be categorized into wood work, carving work, lacquer work, box and bucket work and costume making.  In the morning of the wedding day, a team would set out from the groom to the brides house, after noon time, the team would return with the bride and the dowry procession.  For the riches, the dowry would be a full procession which goes on for miles.

This lacquer box is for storing confectionery.