This lovely, finely carved antique Chinese cinnabar box features a large representation of the character for spring (chun, an allusion to long life), and a small image of Shoulao, the god of longevity, on its face, with an overflowing bowl below it set against a background of radiating rainbows. This "bowl of treasures" design apparently first appeared in the 16th century, but became famous--and more complicated--when an extraordinary series of boxes with the motif were commissioned in 1760 by or for the Qianlong emperor; these boxes feature in museum collections around the world.
This version is not as finely carved as those astounding pieces, but is still quite fine! The exterior features both red, black and brown lacquer, and the interior is black lacquer. I believe this piece dates to the mid to late 19th century.
The box measures 4 1/4” in diameter x 2 1/2” tall. There is some some wear and cracking to the interior lacquer particularly on the underside of the lid, as documented.