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  • Place of origin:

    Guangzhou (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1790-1810 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved ivory

  • Credit Line:

    Ingle Bequest

  • Museum number:

    1769:1 to 13-1892

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This work box held sewing tools or similar accessories. It was made in China for export to Europe rather than for the home market. The carving is in high relief and looks rather crowded, a typical feature of Chinese decorative art of the later 18th century and early 19th. The monogram on the cover reads 'CSB'.

Physical description

Box made of carved ivory, interior fitted with a removable tray divided into thirteen compartments, some with hinged lids. All these carry knobs in the form of various fruits. The carving is done in high relief cut back to a translucent ground, showing figural decoration with boats, musicians, jugglers and lion dancers. The cover and one side carry the monogram 'CSB'.

Place of Origin

Guangzhou (made)


ca. 1790-1810 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved ivory


Width: 36 cm Box and lid both same width, Height: 11 cm Box with lid, Depth: 27 cm Box and lid same depth, Height: 2.9 cm Lid, Height: 8.4 cm Box caseing - excluding fastenings of interior boxes

Object history note

From RF MA/1/I135: According to Maria Ingle's will, this carved ivory box was brought by her father from China and is carved with her mother's initials C. S. B. It was kept by her sister Harriett Browne and after her decease it was kept by Maria Ingle who bequeathed it to the V&A.

Historical context note

This is a work box to hold sewing tools or similar accessories, made in China for export rather than the home market.

Descriptive line

Carved ivory box, Guangzhou, China, ca. 1790-1810

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Chinese Ivories from the Shang to the Qing, London: OCS and British Museum, 1984, no. 260.








East Asia Collection

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