This may just be my favorite little box ever. It took me a while, but--thanks to the help of Instagram followers!-- I have now learned that it is shaped like a Durian fruit, native to Southeast Asia, and I have now found a few examples of others similar--all quite extraordinary (and quite precious!) It seems these may be specifically native to the town of Palembang in Sumatra, Indonesia. The quality and wear to that lacquer makes me fairly certain it is quite old; 19th century I would guess. It appears that at one time it was covered entirely in gold paint or gold leaf; when viewed from the underside, this box appears very much gold, but much of this has faded from the top surface of the wood, so it is much less apparent when looking down on it.
I have to think this once held something very precious, and hope it will again! Really a very special little piece.
3 1/2" tall with a diameter of 3" across. The box is in good antique condition: there is some wear and aging to the wood; some aging and a bit of light cracking to the deep red lacquer on the bottom and interior; loss of gold leaf/paint as noted; and the handle on the lid of the box appears a bit tilted, though it is tightly attached and stable. In my opinion, these signs of age add to the appeal of this piece.