SOLD - Brown Lacquered Leather Hat Box

Shanxi Province, C19th

Dimensions: W: D:35.5 H:34 (cm)
Reference: HB134


  • Description

    This well preserved lacquered leather hat box was an important and symbolic accessory reflecting the status of the hat that is stored and in turn the status of the wearer.

    Symbolic of status, Chinese hats were protected in impressive and robust leather boxes, somewhat similar in construction and purpose from Lock and Co Hatters of London to preserve fine top hats. 

    Imprinted on the leather inside of this well-preserved hatbox is the seal of the original shop that sold it, confirming its authenticity and offering a refund if one was unhappy with the purchase! 

    The wonderful cylindrical shape is designed to be imposing and practical, its construction of tightly stretched vellum protected by layers of lacquer reflecting fine craftsmanship.

    The stitching of the leather and simple fortuitous ruyi shaped metal ware provide subtle décor, while the deep brown patina adds a sophisticated lustre. 

    Interestingly, the sound of the Chinese word for hat, ‘guan’, is synonymous with that meaning an imperial official or literati, hence enhancing the symbolism of hats, leading to literati having created rebuses depicting figures with hats – for example, a Mandarin and his son both wearing hats symbolise the young son aspiring to reach his father’s lofty position.

  • Print

…an important and symbolic accessory…

  • Rare genuine antiques
  • Highly appreciated sympathetic restoration
  • International delivery available
  • Over many years I have found Sharon’s treasure trove of Chinese furniture a wonderful insight into China’s history and heritage. Each piece tells a story of bygone days and I only wish I had more space to accommodate even more items.

    Lou Tabor
  • We are absolutely delighted with the our tall red lacquered leather Chinese hat-box we purchased from Sharon Fitzsimmons. We were looking for an interesting and unusual piece, and this absolutely fits the brief. The quality, colour and size are perfect for our needs, both in appearance and as a useful side-table. Not only that, but we have an interesting talking point for our guests!

    Peter and Joanna Ruddock
  • I have a modern house and the clean lines of antique Chinese furniture suit it very well. The occasional red lacquer piece looks striking, such as a coffer I use as a sideboard in my dining area. I particularly love a pair of narrow, columnar walnut Gansu cabinets and I think they will enhance a contemporary walnut dining table I am awaiting delivery. I like the visual interest of old wood and mixing old and new adds character to a decor.

    Tina MacFarlane

Why Choose a Piece from the Collection

We have a rigorous selection criteria that every late Qing Dysnasty (1644-1911) piece must meet: authenticity, rarity, originality, function and fine craftsmanship. The provenance varies but is mostly Shanxi Province, a region renowned for Qing furniture. We offer diversity, and styles range from classical to vernacular. Over the many years the true testimony of our selection process is that customers are more than satisfied, and are often repeat buyers, as pieces are consistently proven to enhance interiors.

Restoration as Conservation of Antiques

Dedicated singlemindedness in carefully and painstakingly restoring every single antique, simple or complex, has resulted in a sympathetic conservation of antiques, pleasingly meeting customers satisfaction. Our restorers have an understanding of the original craftsman’s skills such as joinery, lacquering, carving, painting and other age old carpentry ways. Each restoration is done by experienced and skilled craftsmen with great attention to detail. On completion each piece is a stand alone form, with presence, integrity and artistic personality.