This large black lacquered mother of pearl inlaid box, would have probably been used to store valuables, along with several clothing boxes and chests, it would have been a part of a bride’s trousseau.
The box is decorated with four cranes on the lid as well as the auspicious ‘su’ symbol, along with bats in each corner and peaches of immortality.
The box also features on its side panels, various auspicious flowers and plants/trees, all of which, including the lid, some at least some of the 10 symbols of longevity. Included in these panels are: pheasants, bamboo tree, plum blossom tree, birds fling and peonies.
The Chinese ideogram for bat is pronounced the same as the ideogram for good fortune (bok in Korean). This led to bat images being embroidered on pillow ends and incorporated into furniture designs and fittings as a symbol of good fortune.